MGNREGA seeks ₹25,000 crore more
Part of: Prelims and GS-II- Governance
In News: The Centre has sought ₹25,000 crore as additional funding for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme as part of the supplementary demand for grants submitted to Parliament.
- The additional budget for MGNREGA was needed because pending payments for wages and materials have threatened to cripple implementation of the scheme.
Rural distress & increased demand for MGNREGA
- Continuing economic distress in rural India has led to increased demand for jobs under the scheme, which promises 100 days of unskilled work for every household at a pay of about ₹210 per day.
- With four months remaining in the financial year, MGNREGA has finished spending the ₹73,000 crore initially allocated in the budget, and its financial statement now shows a negative net balance of ₹10,244 crore, including payments due.
- Last year, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing lockdowns and widespread unemployment, MGNREGA, with a revised budget of ₹1.1 lakh crore, acted as a lifeline for the rural economy.
- This year, the Centre seeks to transfer ₹25,000 crore to the National Employment Guarantee Fund, and the supplementary demand for grants entails an additional cash out-go of almost ₹22,039 crore for the scheme.