Thiruvananthapuram has topped the 14 districts in the State in implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) during the 2012-13 financial year.

The capital district came first in the seven parameters of the MGNREGS that aims at enhancing the livelihood of people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of wage-employment to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

The district topped in the segments of highest wages, wage component, funds utilised, most number of job cards issued, number of man days created, number of women who participated in programme, average days of wage days for families, and number of families who completed 100 days of wage-employment.

At a press meet on Wednesday, district panchayat president Ramani P. Nair and District Collector K.N. Satheesh said Vellarada came first among panchayats by spending Rs. 8.96 crore. Chenkal, which topped in the previous financial year, was pushed to the second place as it could utilise only Rs.6 crore. The least amount of Rs.74.50 lakh was utilised by Anchuthengu.

Mr. Satheesh said a prime achievement was that rural families could be linked to the banking sector as the wages were remitted in banks. The influence of private lending institutions could be minimised. A new work culture had been evolved for women and their financial empowerment, which in turn has raised their status in families.

The panchayat president said the flow of unskilled workers from the rural areas to the cities had been checked.

Projects with funds of the district panchayat to popularise vegetable farming in 10 panchayats and paddy cultivation in 10 other panchayats were successful and would be extended to more panchayats, she added.

A sum of Rs.223 crore was used during the financial year in the district under the MGNREGS. The wages had been hiked from Rs.164 to Rs.180 from April this year.