Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 131

Well in my last blog I wrote about the corruption. I know that I'll not get any comments from your side. And I doubt that how many of you are ready to change the system. Well, never mind. This time, I'm not having sad feelings for not getting comments as feedbacks. Today, I'm going to write about a scheme been implemented by the Central Government. It's about to uplift the economic condition of those families who are living below the poverty line. Well, I'm talking about National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme (NREGS). It's a scheme to eradicate poverty from India. A nice move by the Central Government. Well, let's see the every aspect of this scheme. This scheme is implemented to take care of the people, who are under priviledged. But the economic growth of India is going in the tremendous way. Well, if we go by the government figures, then there were 46 per cent of the total population was living below poverty line in 1983. Indeed a very bad figure even after 36 years of independence. Well, the percentage of the people living under poverty line went down to 28 per cent in 2004-05. Personally, I don't consider this figure encouraging. In my personal view, this should be below 5 per cent or even less than that. Hope so, we will achieve that. I think that this was the thought in the minds of the planners while drafting NREGS.
But there are many drawbacks in this plan. On the surface, it looks like a nice scheme where the government is really taking pains for the upliftment of the poor. Under this scheme, 100 days of employment is been guranteed at the wage of Rs 100 per day. This scheme is to benefit those who are unemployed for the major part of the year. Taking one adult from each household in the village, this scheme is engaging them in construction work. Till now 2.6 crore households has been registered in this scheme. But not so much surprisingly only 53 lakh household received the full payment of 100 working days at the rate of Rs 100 per day. I mean to say that only 53 lakh household out of 2.6 crore households have received the full payment of Rs 10,000. What about other people? Where is their money? Then I found that there is no direct transfer of money from the Central Government to the bank account of the labourer who has worked. There are five layers between the Central Government and the labourer though which the money flows. Those five layers are: Central Employment Gurantee Council at Centre, then State Employment Gurantee Council in every State, then District Panchayat at District level, then there is an Intermediate Panchayat at the block level followed by the Gram Panchayat at the village to which the labourer belongs to. Indeed a very long chain of people in between and hence the long chain for money to change hands. Isn't it?
Now lets have a look to the construction work been done. Several ponds were constructed in those areas which have scarcity of rain. What a great planning? Instead of digging wells to solve the water problem, ponds are been constructed. Then the roads were constructed to connect villages or the remote areas to the rest of the country. Nice planning. But the quality of the construction of those roads is so bad that it will be washed away in the first rain itself. Again a nice planning. I find this to be simple wastage of time, money and the human labour. Is there anyone in the Union Cabinet who can rectify these drawbacks? Is Union Finance Minister looking at this? This is simply misutilization of the public money. I remeber that he recommended the Union Council Ministers to travel by economy class in all the airlines to save the public money. Is the misutilization of public money in schemes like NREGS valid? Won't he do anything to stop this? I'm not against the schemes like NREGS. But I advocate for some positive type of construction and proper utilization of public money. I hope that the Planning Commission will look after the drawbacks of NREGS and will sort it out soon before it turns into a fiasco.

1 comment:

nishu said...

Hi Sumit,

I really appreciate about your concern and raising the issue this is least we could do .... but i somehow don't agree with your few points especially about the growth percentage ... see sumit there are few things we need to understand India is a very big country with its population above 1 Billion and if i beleive the data which u have given the total population above poverty line would be around 800 million and beleive me this number is quite Big and is more than population of many countries in the world ..... and as far as 5 % target is concerned it will be acheived but it will take some time even if we see US it took more 200 years of Independence to be in the present state.... But nevertheless I really appreciate your concern and admire your effort. Waise This is Nishant We studied in a same school you can reach me on npriyadr@gmail.com

Day 399

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