'States fail to provide 100-day employment to all under NREGA'
New Delhi (PTI): Even as the Centre is mulling to raise the number of job days under the NREGA scheme, none of the States has provided the guaranteed 100-day wage employment to all the registered rural households in over three years of the landmark legislation.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), the flagship rural development programme of the UPA government, was launched in February 2006 in 200 districts. It was later expanded to another 130 districts in 2007-08 and was eventually extended to cover all the 593 districts.
A total of 4,49,40,870 rural households were provided jobs under NREGA during 2008-09 across the country but only about 14.48 per cent of them could get 100 days of employment assured under the scheme, according to statistics of the Ministry of Rural Development.
The statistics reveal that about 10.62 per cent of the total 3,38,89,122 registered rural households in 2007-08 were provided 100 days of employment.
During 2006-07, a total of 2,09,83,491 household were provided jobs under the scheme, but only about 10.29 per cent of them could get 100 days of employment.
As per an assessment done by the Ministry, the national average of the number of working days per household under NREGA was 48 in the last fiscal and it stood at 25 till May this year.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had recently said the government could temporarily raise the number of job days under the NREGA to compensate rural households for loss of income due to a poor monsoon in large part of the country.
The Rural Development Ministry said the number of household which completed 100-days of employment was nil in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland during 2006-07.
No household completed 100-days of wage employment in Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland during 2007-08.
"NREGA is demand based. The Act provides a legal guarantee of 100 days of wage employment per household for doing unskilled manual work on demand," an official said.
However, the responsibility for the implementation of the scheme lies with the States and the Ministry provides financial assistance to them as per provisions, he said.
The Ministry also monitors the implementation of the scheme and issues necessary advisories to States to make it more effective, he added.