The implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has increased the incomes of rural households by nearly 11%, increase in cereal productivity by 11.5% and vegetable productivity by 32.3%, a survey, conducted by Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi in 30 districts of 29 States, covering 1160 households has reported.
According to the survey, the 78% households have reported benefiting from increase in water table, ranging from 30% in Muktsar to 95% in Vizianagram, 66% households have also reported benefitting from availability of fodder on account of the water conservation works both in public and private lands of small and marginal farmers. The range of water conservation measures, including farm ponds and dugwells, seem to have made a difference to the lives of the poor. The improved incomes from livestock have also happened through individual beneficiary schemes of MGNREGS that provide goat, poultry and cattle shed as per need of poor households. The livelihood thrust in MGNREGS has been adopted to raise incomes and improve skills for diversification of earning opportunities of poor households.
Since the implementation of the scheme in 2006, over 2 crore assets made which have been geo-tagged in last two years. Over 6.6 crore workers have Aadhaar linked bank accounts and nearly 90% have Aadhaar seeding. About 97% wages are paid through the Electronic Fund Management System. In 2014-15, payments generated within 15 days was 26.85%. Today, the timely payment generated is 85.23%, indicating a remarkable improvement in enforcing timely closure of muster, measurements and generation of Fund Transfer Orders. The National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS) is already in operation in 23 States and one Union Territory of Puducherry facilitating transparent and timely payments, the survey further says.
There are however, a few states which require further efforts to improve their compliance to financial requirements. This will enable Central government to maintain steady flow of funds.