Desired growth due to rigorous planning, monitoring
*Increase in work demand, persondays being witnessed
JAMMU, Sept 11: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has shown significant improvement in timely payment of wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) due to rigorous planning, monitoring and training. Moreover, the timely payment has led to increase in work demand, persondays and number of works thereby improving the lives of the rural people.
The timely payment of wages in an integral aspect of MGNREGA implementation as the same leaves direct impact on the overall performance of the scheme. Given the importance of timely payment of wages, the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, on the directions of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, took several initiatives and the same led to desired growth.
This can be gauged from the report which compares two time-period—pre-2020 (Financial Year 2018-2020) and post-2020 (Financial Year 2020-2022). At the national level, the timely payment was at 90% in pre-2020 which has shown an improvement of 7 points to 97% in post-2020.
Among the growing States/UTs, Jammu and Kashmir has shown a mammoth improvement in timely payments as pre-2020 it stood at 4% which went to 80% in post-2020. This improvement has come on the back of multiple initiatives on the ground as Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has implemented lots of initiatives, controls and training systems to reach this level.
Every district in Jammu and Kashmir has shown a significant improvement in timely payment of wages and this can be gauged from the figures which reveal that 4 districts have registered 50 times improvement while as 8 districts recorded 20 to 50 times improvement. Similarly, there is 10 to 20 times improvement in six districts and 5 to 10 times in one district.
Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Srinagar and Budgam are the districts which have shown improvement of more than 50 times in FY 2020-2022 as compared to FY 2018-2020. “This clearly shows the Jammu and Kashmir’s passion towards implementation of MGNREGA and improving the lives of rural people”, the report said, adding “this has positively impacted the UT in other aspects like persondays generation, household worked, number of works completed, percentage of category B works and number of Gram Panchayats with nil expenditure etc.
Highlighting the advantages of timely payment, the report said that timely payment leads to increase in demand for work and when people are compensated at the time their attendance increases and this ultimately results in higher persondays. Moreover, because of timely payments there is a possibility that the demand for work is higher which in turn can increase the number of works that can be executed.
“When the timely payments started to grow in FY 2020-2020, it also impacted positively of persondays generated and persondays generated showed a growth of 19% in FY 2020-2022 as compared to FY 2018-2020”, the report said, adding “there is 15% growth in total households worked in FY 2020-2022 as compared to FY 2018-2020”.
Likewise, total individual worked showed a growth of 16% in FY 2020-2022 as compared to FY 2018-2020 and there is a huge drop of 80% in the number of Gram Panchayats with nil expenditure.
It is pertinent to mention here that as per MGNREGA, a worker is entitled to receive daily wages on weekly basis or in any case not later than the fortnight from the date of the closure of Muster Roll. The Act ensures that beneficiaries receive their dues within 15 days of the completion of work and if this doesn’t happen the beneficiary is entitled to delay payment at the rate of 0.05% of unpaid wages per day of delay beyond the 15th day of closure of Muster Roll.