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Demand for work under MGNREGS in FY24 to be 27% lower than in FY23

This is due to improved economic conditions in India and a new attendance system introduced in February

MGNREGS, labour, daily wages, rural worker, rural employment

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Owing to improvement in economic activities, the government expects work demand under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to fall 27 per cent in 2023-24, a report by The Economic Times (ET) said.

The Ministry of Rural Development has pegged the person-day generation target at 2,120 million under MGNREGS for FY24, the report added. This is 27 per cent lower than 2,902.4 million in FY23. This does not include West Bengal where the scheme has been suspended due to the misappropriation of funds.

In early 2022, the Centre stopped releasing funds to West Bengal under Section 27 of the MGNREGS Act. It was believed that the state has failed to take adequate action against those involved in alleged irregularities.

The new electronic attendance system, which was introduced in February, is expected to weed out fake claims of person-day generation. This will also bring down the actual numbers.

Reports have also suggested that India is expected to grow the fastest among all the major economies in the world. The finance ministry expects the economic growth to touch 6.5 per cent in FY24, against 7 per cent in FY23.

The officials also said that more allocation towards Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Rural) and Jal Jeevan Yojana in Budget 2023 could also trigger a shift of workers from MGNREGS. The allocation for MGNREGS, on the other hand, has come down.

In FY23, Rs 73,000 crore was allocated for MGNREGS. In FY24, the allocation was cut to Rs 60,000 crore. However, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that more funds will be allocated if required.

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 11:21 AM IST

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