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Role of MGNREGS in Employment Generation, Wage-Income and Assets Created in different States of Rural India: A Source for Doubling Farm Income

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Syed Rizwan Ahmed*, Sanjay Kumar, Jasdev Singh and Murtuza Khan

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Abstract

The present study was conducted with the main objective is to examine the extent of job card holders, employment generation pattern, wage rates, expenditure on agriculture and allied activities, works completion rate and assets created through MGNREGS works. The secondary data was available at official website of MGNREGS which was used for analysis purpose. The performance of scheme with state-wise data indicates presence of variations in job card holders with regard to all socially disadvantaged groups. Average person-days of employment per household initially increased to 45 but later decreased to 42 mandays in study period. MGNREGS and agricultural wages were observed to be positively correlated with each other. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand had the highest whereas Nagaland had the lowest percentage share in expenditure towards agriculture and allied agricultural activities. Percentage of work completion rate in overall terms was found to be significantly highest in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, while Assam had the lowest rate. Percentage of assets created in public works was highest in Haryana, followed by Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and the lowest in Manipur. The CAGR of assets created from 2012- 13 to 2015-16 showed positive growth in states like Andhra Pradesh (0.72), Kerala (0.42), Tamil Nadu (0.11), whereas negative growth in this regard was reported in Bihar (-0.14), Chhattisgarh (-0.5), Jammu and Kashmir (-0.17). The findings points towards importance and role of non-farm/wage income employment opportunities under MGNREGS because it creates a good buffer, benefiting the Indian agriculture particularly farming community like small and marginal farmers during lean season as a reliable source of supplementary income. Thus, MGNREGS can play a significant role in achieving the goal of doubling the farm income in rural India.