Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh puts up stellar show in implementing MGNREGA scheme

With an increase in wage employment, material expenditure and issue of new job cards, Andhra Pradesh’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005) story for 2020-21 looks bright.

Andhra Pradesh was able to better utilise MGNREGA funds to provide employment to workers and corresponding material wages.

With the pandemic and reverse migration caused by the lockdown, the Central scheme helped thousands of workers to earn a livelihood, and the State was also able to create assets like buildings housing anganwadis, village secretariats and Rythu Bharosa Kendras, using the material component.

According to an analytical report compiled by LibTech, represented by a team of engineers, social workers and social scientists focussed on improving public service delivery, using data available on public domain, from the financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21, of the total funds of ₹1,12,443.9 crore released by the Centre under the scheme for the financial year 2020-21, Andhra Pradesh’s share is ₹10,365.5 crore (9.21%).

“We used the data available as on March 31, 2021, and focussed on key components such as MGNREGA expenditure, job cards, employment generated and payment issues,” says Chakradhar Buddha, one of the team members.

For the first time, he points out, NREGA expenditure has crossed ₹10,000 crore in the State. Compared to the last two years, the expenditure has increased to more than ₹10,020 crore and is in fact the highest in the history of the scheme’s implementation in the State.

With this, A.P. stands in the third place in the country in terms of overall expenditure. Though the State has recorded higher expenditure than Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, it has generated lower persondays than these States.

“The dual muster system also contributed to increase in the expenditure,” explains Mr. Buddha.

A total of 4.4 lakh (4,46,571) new job cards issued in the financial year 2020-21 and a total of 7.3 lakh (7,29,121) workers were added. This accounts for 3.44% of all job cards issued since the inception of the scheme in the State.

The highest number of new job cards were issued in Anantapur district (53,844) and Visakhapatnam district (52,062) and the least in Nellore district (15,689).

Employment generation

This year, 26.04 crore persondays were generated, highest in the last three years, and a 30% increase from 20.08 crore in 2019-20. “Interestingly, 75% of the total persondays were generated in the first four months of the financial year 2020-21,” says Mr. Buddha.

Contrary to the Act, which mandates release of payment to the workers within 15 days of their work, the Centre seldom releases the funds on time and even after payments are processed, many of the transactions get stuck at the bank level either due to problems related to Aadhaar linking to the job card or account-related issues.

Vizianagaram recorded the lowest percentage of worst performing gram panchayats while Guntur has the highest. “There is scope to further improve the implementation of this scheme, which gives the most deserving sections their right to livelihood,” says Mr. Buddha.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 2:57:38 AM |

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