MGNREGA: Dismal performance, no unemployment aid paid

Not only was the performance of the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) the worst in 2014-15 since it was introduced a decade back, but government data shows that no unemployment allowance was paid during the fiscal.

Despite unemployment allowance being due and it being a key provision under the Act, data with the Rural Development Ministry shows that while a total of 30,400 days of unemployment allowance had been approved for the last financial year at the national level, none of it has been paid so far.

MGNREGA, which promises 100 days of work each year to every rural household, stipulates that if an applicant seeking employment under the scheme is not provided work within 15 days of the receipt of his application, then he has to be compensated with a daily unemployment allowance.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were the only states in which no unemployment allowance was sought. In states like Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Haryana as well as some northeastern states, while unemployment allowance was demanded, none were found to be valid for approval.

Officials say there may be delay in payment of the allowance with some cases yet to be decided by concerned authorities.

MGNREGA’s performance in 2014-15 has been dismal, with less than 30 per cent of the wages paid on time and each household provided work for only 40 days on an average.

Source: ENS