A recent analysis of data available up to November on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) portal shows that demand for work has been at all time high.
- The NREGS is a demand-based scheme and has emerged as a safety net during the pandemic for jobless migrant workers returning to their villages
- Despite a progressive relaxation in Covid-19 curbs to revive the economy, 96% gram panchayats have logged work under the scheme in the financial year (2020-21) as compared to previous seven years.
- The number of gram panchayats generating nil person days of work (panchayats with zero person days work) during the current financial year are at an eight-year low of only 3.42% of the 2.68 lakh gram panchayats across the country.
- In 2019, the number of gram panchayats generating nil person days during the entire period was 3.91% of the total 2.64 lakh gram panchayats.
- Over 96% of gram panchayats across the country have registered demand for work under NREGS from April till November-end.
- Over 6.5 crore households, covering 9.42 crore individuals, have availed NREGS till November 2020, which is an all-time high.
- Over 265.81 crore person days have been generated, which is higher than 265.44 crore generated in 2019.
- 1.98 crore households availed the scheme in October 2020, which is 82% higher than 2019.
- Highest number of demand for work came from Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- The wage expenditure has also reached an all-time high of Rs. 53,522 crore during this period.
- Tamil Nadu has reported the highest figure of households that availed the NREGS across the country, since July and has been followed by West Bengal.
- These two states were not covered under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.