Amid Covid, NREGS demand soars | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: On Thursday, MGNREGS clocked 106 days of active work in the 2020-21 financial year. On the same day, Telangana generated 106% mandays compared to the work done in 365 days of 2019-20.
Interestingly, during this period, Andhra Pradesh touched 96% of the work done last year. It is expected to overhaul the previous year’s work performance this week. It is not just these two states which are over-performing by a distance in the pandemic year that has created serious scarcity of jobs. As many as six big states which qualify as the traditional MGNREGS catchment areas are close to touching 70% work in comparison to last year while two have crossed 80%. Crucially, two other states have crossed 60% of the work.
The progress status of the rural jobs programme, as reported by TOI, has repeatedly confirmed that more and more villagers have been flocking to the scheme in the wake of lockdown and absence of traditional work avenues.
The rise in MGNREGS graph across major states is revealing. Besides Telangana and AP, Gujarat on Thursday touched 84% of the work done last year while UP was close behind with 80%.
Rajasthan achieved 69% of mandays generated in 2019-20 in just 106 days while Chhattisgarh and Bihar achieved nearly 68%. MP and Haryana stood at 67% while Karnataka and West Bengal touched 60%. Odisha has done 65%.
As per rural development ministry sources, Telangana and AP are not representative cases under MGNREGS. The ‘tasks’ that comprise a day’s work in the two states are easy compared to other states, which result in more mandays being generated. As a result, as reported by TOI, the ministry recently wrote to states to conduct fresh ‘time-motion study’ to lay down the benchmark for a day’s work under MGNREGS. The directive was mainly targeted at Telangana and AP.
Maharashtra is languishing in relative terms, having achieved only 43.4% of last year’s mandays.

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