|Title||MGNREGP ISSUES and PROSPECTS|
|Authors||Dr R K Sinha|
|Affiliation||Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (A Central University), Lucknow, INDIA|
Employment generation and eradication of poverty has always being an objective of planning in India. A number of self-employment and wage employment programmes were initiated to cater to this objective. Discussions and debates on pros and cones of the programmes aimed at employment and income generation, poverty eradication, security net for the mass of humanity residing in the remote areas lead to formulation of new policies and programme to achieve different dimensions of the same problem. Notwithstanding these efforts study after study, research after research brought to surface empirical evidences of increasing chasm between the haves and the have-nots. Malpractices, inappropriate execution and lack of awareness were often quoted as prominent reasons for the tardy progress of the respective programmes. An effort in the form of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) was initiated in the year 2005. It was notified on September 7, 2005. It may not be out of place to say that this was no less than an out of the box effort as this programme differed to all the wage employment programmes started previously in many ways- its demand driven focus, its bottom-up approach, legal entitlement to work. This paper makes an effort to look at what this flagship programme of the Government of India (GoI) has been able to attain. Where does the skepticism about the practicability of this initiative stand after more than eight years of its execution is the idea behind writing this piece. This paper is divided into four sections. Section I furnish an introduction with respect to the finer details and provisions of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGP). It briefly dwells on few of them. Section II analytically examine the performance of the programme with respect ensuring social protection and examines the state of aiding in the empowerment of the marginalized communities especially the women, Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes. Section III sees through whether Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) wages has been responsible for the increase in the well being of the rural households with reference to meals, Monthly per Capita Expenditure (MPCE) and a comparison of MGNREGA wage rates from 2006 to April 2012 & average wage rate in MGNREGP with average casual wage rates, in brief. Section IV tries to draw inference on the basis of the aforestated sections. This article is based on secondary data and do not use any quantitative technique for the analysis of empirical facts taken from different authentic sources (sources of information /data is mentioned at the respective place.).