PM asks states to improve NREGs implementation

PM asks states to improve NREGs implementation

PM asks states to improve NREGs implementation

PM Manmohan Singh addresses at the conference of State Ministers of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj on Rural Employment in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Expressing concern over the tardy implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday asked the states to improve their performance.

While inaugurating a day-long conference of state ministers of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj here, the prime minister said a delivery monitoring unit has been set up in the PMO to review flagship projects such as the NREGS.

“We still have miles to go before we achieve the full potential of this unique legislation. The performance of the programme has been uneven across states. Some states have shown good results, some are lagging behind. I urge them to catch up,” he said.
“We cannot fail the poor of our country particularly at a time when resources are available to provide gainful livelihood security for at least 100 days to the rural poor.”

Referring to the increased allocation to the NREGS this year, he said: “Allocations for poverty alleviation programmes are rising every year. We have to ensure that our people get the best value for every rupee spent on their behalf”.

He said a sum of Rs 39,000 crore has been allocated for the NREGS and Rs 2,350 crore for the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojna (SGSY).

Similarly, under the Rajiv Gandhi National Rural Drinking Water Mission and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, provisions have been made for Rs 8,000 crore and Rs 18,500 crore respectively in the current year, he said. He added that effective oversight of these programmes was also extremely important.

The prime minister pointed out that monsoon had revived in many parts, auguring well for the kharif crop and bringing cheer to large number of farmers. But he also warned against complacency.

“We have to recognise that most areas of the country will probably still have a deficient rainfall and therefore we have to redouble our efforts to mitigate rural distress arising from the after effects of drought.”

Singh said employment was provided to nearly 45 million households in 2008-09.