ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Wake-up Call on Rural Employment Guarantee

An independent report offers constructive criticism, but the findings are being sensationalised.

India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which came into force two years ago, is one of the most creative initiatives of our times in the field of social policy. Under the Act, any adult who is willing to do casual labour at the minimum wage is entitled to being employed on local public works within 15 days. Yet, large sections of the mainstream media have consistently attacked the programme for being an example of waste and “sops”.

The Act is currently operational in 330 districts and is due to be extended to the whole country on April 1, 2008. At this crucial juncture, the draft Performance Audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the NREGA programme is a useful stocktaking of the procedural problems that are currently holding up the effective implementation of the Act.

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