Hyderabad: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) recorded a steep decrease in employment in Telangana in the year 2021-22. Employment in the state took a dip of 7.6% compared to the previous year of 2020-21 because of COVID-19’s second wave and a technical disconnect.
As per a report released by LibTech India, an organisation that works on improving transparency in rural public services, 23 out of 32 districts in Telangana showed a decline in employment provided for the year 2021-22 compared to the previous year.
Only nine districts recorded the opposite trend. Rangareddy (28.2%) and Jagityal (26.4%) districts recorded the highest dip in person-days (the number of people working per day times the number of days worked) compared with the previous years.
Nirmal and Vikarabad districts also recorded a drop of less than 1.5%.
On the other hand, Jayashanker Bhoopalapally recorded the highest increase at 25.3% followed by Yadadri Bhuvanagiri at 9%.
The yearly expenditure also came down, despite a 3.3% increase in individual wages from Rs 245 in 2021-22 as compared to Rs 237 in 2019-20.
“With all factors remaining constant, one would expect an increase of wage expenditure by at least 3.4% for the year 2021-22 but instead it recorded a drop of 8.9%,” said the report.
Why the employment rate dropped:
Last year, MGNREGA was instrumental in bringing about a massive hike in employment, recording person-days of 15.8 crores. However, MGNREGA implementation in Telangana was migrated to the national portal National Informatics Centre (NIC) from the state website in January 2022. This, along with “an unmanageable workload” on Gram Panchayat secretaries, led to the drop in employment.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or MGNREGA, is an Indian labour law that was passed in 2005 under the Manmohan Singh-led government with an aim to guarantee the ‘right to work’ to the socially impoverished strata of the society residing in rural areas.
For up to three months (roughly a hundred days), a member of a household can avail the services of the MGNREGS scheme (introduced as a result of the Act) by focusing on manual unskilled labour.