PM calls for plugging gaps in MGNREGS

Says it brought a silent revolution in villages

PM calls for plugging gaps in MGNREGS

Describing the rural employment guarantee scheme - MGNREGS - as one of the most “popular and successful flagship programmes” of the UPA government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said there are certain gaps in the scheme that need to be fixed.

Addressing a programme here to mark the release of ‘MGNREGS Sameeksha’, an anthology of research on the scheme, he said, “the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is perhaps the UPA Government’s most popular and successful flagship programme”, adding that the government is not fully satisfied the way the scheme is working and “certain gaps need to be fixed”.

Terming the ‘Sameeksha’ as an “innovative way to look at development programmes”, the Prime Minister said he was “surprised to hear from (Rural Development Minister) Jairam Ramesh that concurrent evaluation processes are not in good shape. ...I don’t know why they are languishing, if they are at all languishing. But I would request (Planning Commission Deputy Chairman) Montek Singh Ahluwalia to apply his mind to correct this deficiency as well”.

Speaking about the outreach of the scheme, Singh said: “Even if statistics do not tell the whole truth, the MGNREGS story in numbers is a story worth telling”, adding that “the scheme scores high on inclusiveness...;no welfare scheme in recent memory has caught the imagination of the people as much as NREGS has”.

Manmohan said, “the safety net provided by this scheme has helped rural India to cope with the distress and natural disasters that are their lot.”

Referring to the complaint of delayed payments, he said that “sooner we tackle this problem of delayed payments, I think better results would be in the offing”. He also appealed to Panchayati Raj institutions “to gear themselves up to play the central role assigned to them under the scheme.”

Referring to the issue of gender equality, he said the study suggests a silent revolution is taking place among rural women due to NREGS.

“Wage disparities are being reduced and women are coming out more into the public sphere to take up work and interact with banks, post offices and government officials. This has done wonders to their self-confidence and given them a greater say in financial matters of the household,” he said.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry