Manmohan praises UPA’s MNREGA, terms 'biggest scheme' of social welfare

Sunday, July 15, 2012
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh releasing report on MNREGA
with (from left) Planing Commission member Mihir Shash, Rural
Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, Deputy
Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia
New Delhi: Praising flagship programme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), the government on Saturday said it was the biggest scheme of social welfare.

While releasing a 122-page compilation on the MNREGA brought out by the Rural Development Ministry, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the programme was the UPA government’s most popular scheme and the biggest social welfare scheme.

In his address Dr. Singh said, “" I am very happy to release Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sameeksha, brought out by the Ministry of Rural Development. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is perhaps the UPA Government's most popular and successful flagship programme."

“The ambitious report on the flagship programme named by Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, Sameeksha reveals that the Scheme has scored high on inclusiveness, “said Manmohan Singh.

“The share of Scheduled Cast/Scheduled Tribe families in the work has been 51 per cent and that of women 47 per cent. The average wage per person-day has gone up by 81% since the Scheme’s inception. Wages are indexed to protect workers from the ravages of inflation,” Mr. Singh added.

“Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has written in the ‘Sameeksha’ that it is perhaps the largest and most ambitious social security and public works programme in the world,” said Manmohan Singh.  

Singh also stressed on the need for a simultaneous evaluation of the rural development schemes and that the issue of delayed payments in the rural employment scheme should be tackled at the earliest.

The publication is reported to contain an analysis of the performance of the programme since its inception in 2006. It will also point out how MNREGA has had an impact on poverty, deprivation, marginalised communities, leading to an increase in the market wages of the rural labour.

The MNREGA scheme, initiated by the UPA government in 2006, has been under the scanner of panels and opposition bringing much criticism to the government for some of its faults. However, the report to be released by the Prime Minister will answer and clear all those doubts, said reports.
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