[op-ed snap] Positive expansion

  1. Acc. to India Meteorological Department’s forecast, we are looking at consecutive drought-like years for the first time since 1987.
  2. NDA government proposes to extend the number of work entitlement days under the MGNREGA from 100 to 150 in drought-hit districts.
  3. MGNREGS could bring relief to farm workers and labourers affected by the laying waste of cropland for the rabi cycle due to both unseasonal rain and deficient monsoon.

  4. The record of success of MGNREGS since its launch in 2006 as a welfare initiative that empowers distressed rural households has been well-documented.
  5. Its weaknesses, in terms of the quality of assets created and leakages in implementation, are also well-known.

    While the “extra 50 days” is a welcome move, there needs to be a better focus on timely wage payments and demand for work under the scheme.

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