Indian experience of sustainable and inclusive economic growth – an evaluation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
In India the rural population increased from 299 million in 1951 to 833 million in 2011, cultivators and agricultural workers from 97 million to 263 million, whereas the share of agriculture in GDP decreased from 60-70% in 1950s, to 19% in 2004-05 and less than 14% in 2011-12. The average size of land holdings has decreased to 1.2 hectares. The 67% holdings are below 0.4 hectare and 84% are below 2 hectares. There is underemployment of work force. This unorganized section of society is the most vulnerable. To uplift them various schemes were started. The amount spent on which has increased from 10.46 per cent in 2003-04 to 19.46 per cent in 2009-10. But the outcome of these programmes has not been very encouraging. To address rural unemployment the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act guarantees 100 days of wage employment in a year to adult members of a rural household on demand. Either work has to be provided within 15 days or an unemployment allowance if work is not provided for any reason. Based upon the data collected from 5 districts of Haryana and secondary data downloaded from the website, this paper examines as to how far the scheme has been able to address the issue of unemployment of different sections. What impact it has made on the general wage rate? How far the food security has been improved? Most importantly, whether the assets created with the work done are viable and sustainable? The findings suggest that food security has improved, different sections are engaged gainfully and the assets are useful. But many more things need to be done.
Volume (Year): 3 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
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