NREGA Implementation: A Macro Overview
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005) was enacted by the Indian Parliament in 2005 to provide a minimum guaranteed wage employment of one hundred days in every fiscal year to rural households with unemployed adult members prepared to do unskilled manual work. Since its enactment in 200 districts, it was extended to overall country of India. The basis for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in India emerged from the thinking that a society which has failed to reduce the unemployment problem in six decades of development cannot ask its unemployed to wait indefinitely for the utterly uncertain prospect of employment growth catching up with population growth or income growth. India’s rural workforce had clearly not benefited from the marked acceleration of the GDP since the eighties and agriculture as a livelihood was facing a series of crises with the prospect of an imminent structural collapse. The consequent rise in distress migration, hunger, starvation deaths, farmer suicides, and violence in the countryside were understandable and improving measures necessitated an employment guarantee backed by the State.
In this chapter we discuss about the trends in implementations of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 at all-India level, at the Andhra Pradesh State level and the Vishakhapatnam district where the field village exists, in the past three years (2006 to 2009). The Act is applicable to areas notified by the Central Government and will cover the whole community within five years. In its first phase, it was notified in 200 districts across the country. In the second phase the act has been notified in the financial year 2007-08 in an additional 130 districts, bringing the total of number of districts covered by NREGA to 330. In these districts, pre-existing wage employment programmes the National Food for Work Programme (NFFPW), and the Sampoorna Grameena Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) were merged with NREGA. The remaining districts have notified under NREGA with effect from April 1, 2008. The extension of the NREGA to the whole country is an unprecedented opportunity to build the foundations of a social security system in rural India, revive village economies, promote social equity, and empower rural labour.
4.1 NREGA at all India level
4.1.1 First year of NREGA (2006-07):
First Phase of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act introduced in April 2006. It came into effect first time in 200 districts whose mostly backward districts in India. Apart from that, around 20 districts have chosen for implementation, from states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh. For the period of 2006 – 07, 2.12 crores of households have demanded, but the NREGS coverage is nearer to they have demanded, that is 2.10 crores of households. In this period, the average no. of day’s employment provided per state is 105080 days. Under the NREGA, in the provision of employment, West Bengal contributes highest score is 14.67 %, Madhya Pradesh is 13.64 %, Uttar Pradesh is 12.24 %, and Andhra Pradesh is 10.28 % .
Table: 4.1 No of households covered under NREGA (2006 – 07):
|S. No.|States |No. of districts |No. of households provided |% of Participation | | | |covered |employment | | | | | |(in lakhs) | | |1 |Andhra Pradesh |13 |2161395 |10.28 | |2 |Arunachal Pradesh |1 |16926 |0.08 | |3 |Assam |7 |792270 |3.77 | |4 |Bihar...