Continue MGNREGS with innovations

  • KTR appeals to Centre In Kerala meet
  • Challenges face by the scheme have to be met resolutely

a�?Hyderabad, January 6: Telangana Minister for IT and Panchayat Raj K. Taraka Ramarao on Tuesday said the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) played a great role in the eradication of poverty in the country.

Speaking at the State Rural Development Ministersa�� conference organized by the Union Ministry of Rural Development at Kovalam in Kerala, KTR said the MGNREGS should be continued in all the mandals in the country for the benefit of the poor and downtrodden sections. Stating that scheme was being implemented in 443 mandals in nine districts of Telangana State, KTR said 100 crore mandays have been generated. On an average, about 25 lakh households are provided wage employment every year. This is 45% of registered households. Almost 95% of them are from SC, ST and BC categories, which include most vulnerable groups like Chenchu tribe, he pointed out. He also explained to the gathering about the online payments and social audit of the marvelous scheme. Eight years of implementation of scheme has made a significant dent in the poverty and vulnerability in rural areas, he added.

a�?MGNREGS has not only helped us with the provision guaranteed employment to deserving sections of society, but also led to the creation of durable assets and management of natural resources in rural areas. It is well known that erstwhile AP and now Telangana has been in the forefront in the implementation of scheme through trendsetting innovations which have been followed as best practices by other States. Some of these are transaction-based software integrated with electronic fund management system, organization of wage seeker into Srama Shakthi Sanghas, Adhaar enabled payments through biometric system and participatory Social Audit. These interventions have gone a long way in bringing built-in transparency in the implementation of the scheme and minimizing the leakages.

A�a�?In spite of tremendous contribution to the rural economy in general and improving the living standards of the poor in particular, the scheme is facing many challenges. Some which are delay and leakages in disbursement of wages, works without assets, marginal role of PRIs and some reported negative impact on agriculture sector. These issues can be addressed by taking up further studies and formulating appropriate strategies and deploying suitable systems. In this regard it is submitted that we are highly concerned about the recent reports of downsizing the scheme that has for the first time in the history of our country provided a real voice and choice to poor and vulnerable sections of the society. As almost 95% of rural HH are dependent on the scheme directly and indirectly, limiting the scheme in any way is likely to have far reaching consequences in future.

a�?Therefore, on behalf of Telangana State, I request the Government of India to continue and further improve the implementation of MGNREGS with innovations and learning experiences from other Statesa�?, he added. (NSS)

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