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State Wise Performance of Nregp in India

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					Status of NREGA Implementation


     Grassroots Learning and Ways Forward




            1st Monitoring Report



  Prepared by Samarthan – Centre for Development Support




                    With Support from

       Poorest Area Civil Society (PACS) Programme
Preface
A longstanding struggle of social activists demanding right to life resulted in the first round of
success though the enactment of National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) Act. The Act
was passed on 5th September 2005 and came into force in February 2006. The NREG
Programme got launched in the 200 poorest and backward districts of twenty seven states of
India.

The programme is seen as a significant opportunity by the Government as well as civil society
organizations to transform rural economy in selected districts/ states as it guarantees 100 days
employment per family, and provides adequate resources for the improvement of
infrastructure including productive assets of the village. The initial three quarters since
operationalisation of the programme have not only been invested in building systems and
procedures, but also developing operational details. Further, many states have moved towards
effectively implementing the programme and generating employment for the poor families. The
process of implementation has therefore generated ground level data at the household, village
and panchayat levels about the initial bottlenecks and operational hurdles.

The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme supports over 600 civil society
organizations, working in the 108 poorest and most backward districts across six states of
India, to enable the poor to realise their rights and entitlements more effectively and
sustainably. This group of organizations represents a network with a large outreach and
potential for influencing both community response and policy.

The introduction of the NREGA has provided the PACS Programme an opportunity to align to
the requirements of the NREGP and bring in processes that would facilitate implementation of
the Act in its true form and spirit. As such the PACS Programme has invested in awareness
rising on both the NREG Act as well as the state specific Acts in the PACS areas. Since the
inception of the Act, the PACS programme has instituted processes for capacity building of the
partner civil society organizations for enabling conduct of social audits as well documentation
of evidences of discrimination as well as ground realities of registrations and employment
given under the tenets of the Act.

The primary purpose of bringing out the status of NREGA implementation in selective PACS
states is not to point out shortcomings, since it is evident, that the NREGA implementation is in
its nascent stage. The larger aim of the report is to build joint ownership of the learning’
emerging from the report by the civil society and the government to improve the strategy of
support at the grassroots. Additionally, it aims to influence the programme design and
operational areas in respective states and at the national level by establishing regular dialogue
process with the senior executive machinery especially in context of entitlement access by the
poor.

The PACS programme is committed to bringing out a six monthly monitoring report on a
regular basis. The monitoring report will be utilized by the PACS programme to improve
strategies of civil society engagement for affecting NREGA implementation in PACS intervened
panchayats.

I am extremely thankful to Samarthan for taking responsibility of bringing out this report. I
would also like to place my sincere word of thanks to the partner NGOs, citizens, facilitating
agencies and government officials for providing relevant data and insights.

We look forward to receiving your feedback on our endeavour.

Kiran Sharma
Programme Director
Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme
Acknowledgement
NREGA is a unique Act which recognizes the legitimate role of Panchayats in addressing
their fundamental duty as expressed in the 73th Constitutional Amendment of providing
“economic development and social justice” in their area. The recognition of PRI as the
principal agency of implementation under NREGA has opened up enormous opportunities
for decentralizing development and respecting local solutions to local livelihood challenges.
Samarthan has over the last 10 years worked towards strengthening participatory
development and governance processes in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Over the
last one year, the focus has been concentrated on influencing NREGA implementation and
affecting application of Right to Information. Therefore, we were most willing to take the
responsibility for bringing out Status Report on NREGA implementation for the selective
PACS intervened states. PACS programme has also focused energies around NREGA
implementation as a large number of NREGS districts converge PACS intervened areas.
We are thankful to PACS for reposing their trust on Samarthan to bring out National
Report on NREGA implementation. We worked on the report in a very tight schedule
along with the period of holidays of Diwali and Eid and many other constraints. Therefore,
it was a difficult trade off between bringing out a perfect report meeting the standards of
monitoring on the one hand, and concentrating on bringing out qualitative grassroots
experiences as patterns of difficulties encountered across the states for timely redressal of
issues and building appropriate strategies for implementation, on the other. We opted for
the second option of bringing out relatively less perfect yet timely report and I hope that
you will bear with us for the shortcomings, if any.
We express our thanks to the government officials as well as their official data sources to
help us access data and information relevant for the report. We express our sincere
thanks to the field level civil society organizations of PACS states, state level resource
organizations, communication agencies and state representatives of PACS programme for
providing us necessary data and documents helping us build state specific perspective. I
am also putting on record the effort of Samarthan team, programme as well as support,
for their hard work and commitment to work on the report relentlessly. We also
appreciate contribution of Write Solutions, the communication agency of PACS
programme, M.P for providing editorial support at a very short notice.

We look forward for the continued co-operation and support from all of you.

Yogesh Kumar
Executive Director
Samarthan – Centre for Development Support
                                                     Table of Contents
1. Background ....................................................................................................................1
2. Emerging salient arguments on NREGA ...............................................................................2
3. Objectives of the Study ....................................................................................................3
4. Methodology ...................................................................................................................3
  4.1. Sample/Outreach .......................................................................................................3
  4.2. Issues covered...........................................................................................................4
  4.3. Methods of data collection ...........................................................................................4
  4.5 Limitations .................................................................................................................5
5. Report Card on NREGA Performance ...................................................................................6
5.1. Government Perspective on NREGA .................................................................................6
  5.1.1. Number of Rural Households Covered Under the Programme .........................................6
  5.1.2. Registration and Job Cards Issued..............................................................................6
  5.1.3. Employment Provided Against Applications Given .........................................................7
  5.1.4. State-Wise Funds Released .......................................................................................8
  5.1.5. Release of Resources ...............................................................................................9
  5.1.6. Expenditure Pattern .................................................................................................9
  5.1.6. Key Findings from Government Data ........................................................................ 10
5.2. NREGA from Media’s View ............................................................................................ 11
  5.2.1. Media Response at the time of enactment ................................................................. 11
  5.2.2. Media Response on NREGA programme implementation .............................................. 12
  5.2.3. State-wise highlights on performance ....................................................................... 13
5.3. Civil Society Perspective on NREGA ............................................................................... 13
  5.3.1. Awareness of the programme .................................................................................. 14
  5.3.2. Applications for Job Cards ....................................................................................... 15
  5.3.3. Availability of Job Cards.......................................................................................... 17
  5.3.4. Payment of wages ................................................................................................. 19
  5.3.5. Provision of worksite facilities .................................................................................. 20
  5.3.6. Unemployment allowance ....................................................................................... 20
  5.3.7. Major Findings from Field Data ................................................................................ 21
5.4. Citizens’ Perspective on NREGA ..................................................................................... 22
  5.4.1. Uttar Pradesh........................................................................................................ 23
  5.4.2. Madhya Pradesh .................................................................................................... 24
  5.4.3. Bihar ................................................................................................................... 25
  5.4.4. Maharashtra ......................................................................................................... 25
  5.4.5. Chhattisgarh ......................................................................................................... 26
  5.4.6. Jharkhand ............................................................................................................ 27
6. Institutional Hurdles - Panchayat Perspective..................................................................... 28
  6.1. Envisaged role of panchayats in NREGA ....................................................................... 28
  6.2. State’s preparedness in handling the National Act- locally .............................................. 29
  6.3. Unequal distribution of funds and the resource utilization in districts ................................ 30
  6.4. Top down implementation drive adversely affecting local planning ................................... 30
  6.5. Inadequate flexibility in guidelines for addressing local issues ......................................... 33
  6.6. Hurdles of technical clearance in Gram Panchayat projects ............................................. 34
  6.7. Inadequate support in developing sound technical estimates of civil works ....................... 35
  6.8. Unfair technical evaluation of the civil works done......................................................... 36
  6.9. Delayed departmental response/permission affects Panchayat’s performance.................... 37
  6.10. State’s response on grassroots difficulties of Panchayats .............................................. 37
  6.11. Positive examples of NREGA..................................................................................... 38
7. Ways forward................................................................................................................ 40
Annexure ......................................................................................................................... 44
  Data From NREGA Website............................................................................................... 44
  Sample villages for the Study ........................................................................................... 46
  Partner Organisations Involved in the Study ....................................................................... 49
References ....................................................................................................................... 50
List of abbreviations

 APL       -Above Poverty Line
 BPL       -Below Poverty Line
 BREGS     -Bihar Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
 CGREGS    -Chhattisgarh Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
 CM        -Chief Minister
 CSOs      -Civil Society Organisations
 DFID      -Department for International Development (United Kingdom’s)
 EAS       -Employment Assurance Scheme
 EBC       -Extremely Backward Caste
 GoB       -Government of Bihar
 GoCG      -Government of Chattisgarh
 GoI       -Government of India
 GoJ       -Government of Jharkhand
 GoMah     -Government of Maharashtra
 GoMP      -Government of Madhya Pradesh
 GoUP      -Government of Uttar Pradesh
 GP        -Gram Panchayat
 GS        -Gram Sabha
 JREGS     -Jharkhand Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
 JRY       -Jawahar Rozgar Yojana
 MC        -Management Consultant
 MEAL      -Monitoring Evaluation and Learning
 MPREGS    -Madhya Pradesh Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
 MREGS     -Maharashtra Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
 NREGA     -National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
 NREP      -National Rural Employment Programme
 OBC       -Other Backward Caste
 PACS      -Poorest Area Civil Society
 PRI       -Panchayati Raj Institutions
 RD        -Rural Development
 RO        -Resource Organisation
 SC        -Scheduled Caste
 SGRY      -Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana
 ST        -Scheduled Tribe
 UPREGS    -Uttar Pradesh Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
                                                                       Status of NREGA Implementation




1. Background
Across the world governments have made promises that have rarely been kept. India is no
exception and its governments have routinely announced policies and schemes that had
no relation with available resources resulting in denial of basic services to citizens and the
non-fulfilment of several goals. However this was also partly due to the inability of civil
society organizations to pressurize their state governments effectively in this regard.

India signed the Millennium Declaration in September 2000, which calls for the eradication
of extreme poverty and hunger by halving the number of poor people living on less than a
dollar a day and those who suffer from hunger. Thus, the Government of India recognized
these goals as a legitimate policy commitment. Further, the Common Minimum
Programme of the United Progressive Alliance government came up with commitments
that the state had to make to improve the situation of the poor. These commitments were
recognized by the Planning Commission as a national common minimum programme to
mobilize resources for their implementation. Further, a citizens' charter was formulated by
civil society activists. The UPA Government passed the National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act 2005. The Act provides employment guarantee to every rural household for
100 days in a year. Thus, it is not a programme and differs from other schemes because it
gives the rural poor the right to demand that they be given a job or unemployment
allowance.

Salient Features of the Act

       Wages to be paid every week not later than a fortnight
       In case of any delay in the payment of wages, labourers entitled to compensation
       as per the Payment of Wages Act
       No gender bias permitted
       Provisions made for compensation and treatment in case of injury and for on-site
       safe drinking water, care of small children, periods of rest and a first-aid box
       Contractors and labour displacing machines banned
       At least 60 per cent of the expenditure under any project to be on wages.
       At least 50 per cent of the projects, in terms of value, to be implemented through
       the gram panchayats which must prepare a development plan
       The programme officer to responsible for the implementation of the employment
       guarantee programme in the block.


The programme’s efficacy is based on the logic of using the productive capacity of
ordinary rural folk to build and nurture assets, while simultaneously alleviating the
problem of chronic unemployment and poverty. The Act provides an opportunity to build
rural infrastructure through watershed development, restoration of water bodies such as
tanks and canals, activities aimed at forestry, land development, and soil erosion and
flood control, and construction of roads and institutional facilities. Anyone willing and able
to perform unskilled manual labour at the statutory minimum wage can make a claim,




                                                                                                 1
Status of NREGA Implementation




         which must be met by the local administration within 15 days failing which an
         unemployment allowance must be provided.

         Rights of Citizens

                    Adult members of every rural household who are willing to do casual manual work
                    at the statutory minimum wage may apply to the gram panchayat for registration
                    Registration valid for a period not less than five years, and renewable
                    Employment to be provided to every registered person within 15 days of receipt of
                    an application
                    Applications to be for at least 14 days of continuous work.
                    Gram panchayat to accept valid applications and issue a dated receipt to the
                    applicant
                    Applicants provided with work to be notified in writing
                    Employment to be provided within a radius of 5 km. If work is provided beyond 5
                    km, it is to be provided within the block, and the labourers paid 10 per cent of the
                    daily minimum wages extra

         The impetus for the NREGA came from two sources. The first comprised of social
         movements such as the Right to Food that had been agitating for ending hunger by
         providing employment guarantees to the poor. This demand was supported by various civil
         society movements such as the Right to Information that incorporated such demands in its
         wider framework. The second and more direct influence came from the three-decade-long
         track record of the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in Maharashtra. Evaluation
         studies of the Maharashtra EGS showed that the programme had the following strengths1:

                    Reduced extreme levels of deprivation among the poorest sections
                    Accounted for between one-tenth and one-third of the number of days of
                    employment of rural workers
                    Reduced migration to urban areas
                    Stabilized employment in the off-peak season
                    Higher participation of women

         Based on these influences, the government enacted the NREGA Act in September 2005.
         The law is being implemented in 200 of the poorest districts in this initial phase guiding
         state governments to develop NREG schemes. The schemes developed by the States reach
         out to 200 districts will be termed as NREGS in this report. The scheme is expected to
         cover the entire country within five years.

         2. Emerging salient arguments on NREGA
         Critics of the NREGA have focussed on two sets of issues: one, that it is too expensive
         and, two, that corruption will prevent its success. The pro-market liberalisers view the
         NREGA as a dangerous piece of legislation that threatens to snowball India's fiscal deficit
         out of control. However, economist Mihir Shah holds the view that it could actually 'crowd-
         in' private investment and lay the foundation for non-inflationary growth in the medium-
         term.2 According to Shah, the capacity of the agricultural sector to absorb labour has


         1
             Sridhar, V. 2005.’Empowering the rural poor’, Frontline, Vol. 22, Issue 19, Sep 10-23
         2
             Shah, Mihir. 2004. ‘National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: A Historic Opportunity’, EPW, December 11, 2004


   2
                                                                                    Status of NREGA Implementation




declined drastically due to a decline in the per capita output of agriculture, which calls for
a massive increase in public investment in rural India in the direction of sustainable
environmental regeneration. The future of agriculture depends on restoring the health of
the many 'public goods' that private agriculture critically depends on.3

The other issue of corruption can be dealt through social mobilization by grass roots
organizations. As Jean Dreze says, ‘legislation alone will not guarantee employment,
continuous mobilisation is required’.4 The Act empowers citizens to play an active role in
the implementation of employment guarantee schemes, through gram sabhas, social
audit, participatory planning and other activities. In fact the real significance of the act is
directly proportionate to the extent and manner in its provisions are creatively pushed to
their limits by the mobilization of the disadvantaged. The NREGA can become a major new
instrument for galvanising panchayat raj institutions in India.5

Various stakeholders are closely monitoring the act and several surveys are being carried
out to assess its implementation on the ground. There are various reports that point out
the areas where there is scope for improvement.

3. Objectives of the Study

        To review the current status of implementation of NREGA in PACS intervened states
        To identify emerging strengths and weaknesses for wider dialogue for
        improvements
        To evolve strategies for affecting implementation of the programme as a joint
        initiative of the government, civil society and the Panchayati Raj institutions


4. Methodology


4.1. Sample/Outreach
Primary data was collected directly during the NREGA week that was observed in PACS
states during 3-9 July, 2006 as well as through a schedule that was handed out later. The
NREGA week covered 6 PACS states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra,
Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. In Bihar, the campaign covered 1000 villages spread
across the poorest districts. Besides, the CSOs were successful in filing 50,000 application
forms, mostly of the Dalits and landless. In Jharkhand, the campaign was spread over 550
villages in 20 districts. In Maharashtra, the PACS campaign covered 200 villages in four
districts. It covered a population of around 1, 20,000 while in Madhya Pradesh and
Chattisgarh the campaign covered 420 villages in 11 districts. The NREGA week generated
tremendous field level experiences. However no structured format in data collection was
prescribed.

Since the data collected during the NREGA week was not on a structured format, a
schedule was prepared containing a list of questions on the implementation of NREGA,
which was distributed to selected CSOs to generate data from the Panchayats and the

3
  Shah, 2004
4
  Lakshman, Nirmala. 2006. ‘Employment guarantee — signs of transformation’, The Hindu, Thursday, May 11
5
  Shah, 2004


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Status of NREGA Implementation




         villages. Random sampling was used in choosing the panchayats. The schedule primarily
         comprised of closed questions though a few open ended questions also existed to record
         the opinions and suggestions of the people. This additional data was also collected from 6
         PACS states covering 87 panchayats and 107 villages.

         4.2. Issues covered
         The issues covered by the structured schedule applied in 107 Panchayats awee: works
         completed under NREGA, job card registration and availability, average payments daily,
         frequency of payments and reasons for delay (if any), distance of worksite from the village
         and provision of worksite facilities as given by the law, level of satisfaction with field
         personnel, duration of work, work related injuries and any comments regarding the law or
         its implementation. High quality data was generated on the above issues and other
         pertinent areas of concern in NREGA week reports, people’s tribunals and oral testimonies
         of citizens and Panchayat representatives.

         4.3. Methods of data collection
         Both primary and secondary sources of data were used. Both included qualitative and
         quantitative data. Primary quantitative data was obtained through the schedules that were
         delivered to the people affected by the act through the PACS partners with volunteers
         recording the responses. These schedules covered a period from August to October 2006.
         Primary qualitative data was obtained through direct interactions. Case studies were
         obtained through partner NGOs in the field as well as through the public hearing on
         NREGA organised in PACS states. Direct experiences were also obtained through the
         NREGA Yatras in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which mobilised several thousand
         people in both states.

         Further, there were direct interactions with officials and affected groups. Both the PACS
         partners as well as the staff of Samarthan met officers to gain their observations and
         reactions regarding the law. The PACS partners met the lower level officers to gain an
         understanding of the issues involved in the implementation of the act. Further, a meeting
         of Sarpanches from several districts in Madhya Pradesh was organized at the office of
         Samarthan in October 2006. The Sarpanches were made aware of the provisions of the
         act following which they described the lapses in implementation.

         Secondary sources primarily comprised of qualitative data. These included articles and
         news reported in the print and electronic media about the rationale and efficacy of the act
         along with a critical look on the implementation. Such reports covered a variety of states
         and helped to understand issues that were common across the spectrum. Further,
         voluntary organizations recently organized the NREGA week in the first week of July in
         which they attempted to raise the awareness of the people and rate the efforts of
         governments to implement the act. The reports on the initiatives taken during the week
         were another rich source of information and allowed a comparison of states as far as
         implementation of the programme was concerned. PACS partners working in villages also
         provided crucial insights into the reality on the ground.

         Quantitative data came through information on the NREGA put on the websites of state
         governments. Some of the state governments were proactive enough in putting relevant
         information on their initiatives on the internet but in most cases the information was
         either absent or not up to date.


   4
                                                                        Status of NREGA Implementation




4.5 Limitations
       The official government data available on the official website was not updated.
       Therefore, only data until August could be incorporated in the report.
       The NREGA Week and awareness campaigns were undertaken without a structured
       format of reporting. State level NREGA Week reports used different formats making
       synthesis difficult.
       Sample questionnaire was supposed to be administered to 50 panchayats in each
       state by 5 CSOs in each region. All could not fill this and the desired level of details
       could not be attained.
       It was difficult to gather any data from the state officials other than what was
       available from the website. Officials felt that all the relevant information was
       available on the website even though this was not the case.




                                                                                                  5
Status of NREGA Implementation




         5. Report Card on NREGA Performance


         5.1. Government Perspective on NREGA
         The data available at                         the URL www.nrega.nic.in till August 2006 was analysed to
         understand the macro                           perspective on implementation of the National Employment
         Guarantee Act. Though                          there are 27 states where NREGP is being implemented, the
         present study analyses                        the situation in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra,
         Chattisgarh, Jharkhand                          and Bihar, which are the key intervened states of PACS
         programme.

         5.1.1. Number of Rural Households Covered Under the Programme
         The six states under study have
         106 districts where NREGP is being                             Percentage of Rural Households in the Six Selected States


         implemented. In all, there are                       Madhya Pradesh
                                                                                                 Maharashtra
                                                                                                     12%                          Uttar Pradesh
         more than 3-crore rural households
                                                                   12%
                                                                                                                                       29%

         in these states. Amongst the
         states, Bihar has the maximum
                                                    Jharkhand
                                                       12%

         number of districts (23) under
         NREGP. The details of the number
         of districts covered under NREGP              Chattisgarh
         are mentioned below. It is worth                  6%

         mentioning here that Bihar has                                                         Bihar
         declared all districts of the state                                                    29%

         under the scheme. While 23
         districts will be supported by the Union Government, the Government of Bihar will support
         the remaining 15. Amongst the six states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh account for the largest
         percentage of rural households, while Chattisgarh has the lowest number of rural
         households (as compared to the cumulative figure of the six states).

         5.1.2. Registration and Job Cards Issued
                                                                                                                        Of     the   total   rural
                                                Registred Households Vs Job Cards Issued                                households in NREGP
                                                                                                                        districts of states under
                45.00                                                   42.81
                                                                              41.44          41.40                      study,             52.8%
                40.00
                                                                                                                        households have applied
                 No. of Households (in Lakhs)




                35.00
                                                                                                                        to be registered under
                30.00
                      24.02
                                                                                                            26.94
                                                                                                                  24.64
                                                                                                                        the scheme. Of this,
                25.00
                                                                                                                        67.4% families have
                                                                                                                        been issued job cards.
                20.00
                                                       18.79
                                  16.97
                                         15.35
                15.00
                           10.72
                                                             12.05
                                                                                                  10.95                 Though these figures
                10.00
                                                                                                                        look     impressive,    a
                 5.00
                                                                                                                        general impression from
                 0.00
                      Bihar      Chattisgarh          Jharkhand      Madhya Pradesh       Maharashtra   Utttar Pradesh  the field is that people
                                 No. of Registered Households
                                                                States
                                                                         No. of Job Cards Issued
                                                                                                                        have not really applied
                                                                                                                        for registration. Rather,
         the panchayats have carried out registrations on their own and issued job cards. It was


   6
                                                                                                                                                           Status of NREGA Implementation




seen in some panchayats of districts in Madhya Pradesh that 100% families have been
registered under the scheme. The high percentage of registration in Madhya Pradesh is
also due to the fact that the government has taken into account the entire list of
households prepared during the BPL survey in 2003. This fails the purpose of registration
to an extent. The purpose of registering families for the scheme is to ensure that only
deserving (or eligible/poor) families get job cards and these are not misused. As a result,
in Madhya Pradesh today, most families in NREGA districts are registered and there are
more job cards than are actually required!

In Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, it was observed that the unit of family is defined by
chullah’s. Thus, a couple living in their parents house will also be considered a family if
they have a separate chullah. All such families have been taken into account for the
purpose of implementation of this scheme. All families which are registered will be allotted
job cards. The table below shows that Madhya Pradesh has been a leading state in the
distribution of job cards to registered households.

In Maharashtra, only 26.4% registered households have received job cards. In Madhya
Pradesh and Chattisgarh, it was seen that while job cards have been prepared and
distributed to a large proportion of registered families, these documents are not being
used properly. In most work sites visited, it was noted that job cards are not being filled.
This will defeat the very purpose of issuing job cards. The practice of registering all
households and issuing job cards to everybody in the village is self-defeating because
there are chances of misuse of those cards which will not be used and there are chances
that the deserving families will be left out. Misuse of the cards may be by filling up of fake
attendance on muster rolls or lending job cards to the poor families to work on their behalf
on 50% wage payment.

It was also noted that proper guidelines were not being followed in issuing job cards. In
Bihar, for instance, several job cards were issued without any number on them. In Madhya
Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Bihar, photographs have not yet been pasted onto the job cards.
In some districts of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar, it was seen that villagers were
required to pay money – from Rs 20 to Rs 200 - for getting job cards.

                                                                               E m p lo y m e n t D e m a n d e d V s E m p lo y m e n t P r o v id e d
5.1.3. Employment
Provided Against                                    2 5 .0 0


Applications
Given                                               2 0 .0 0                                                                            1 9 .1 3
                                                                                                                                                1 8 .0 5                               1 7 .9 2
                                                                                                                                                                                               1 6 .8 4
                        No. of persons (in Lakhs)




Government data                                     1 5 .0 0


available        till
August,      2006,                                  1 0 .0 0


reveals that of the                                            5 .3 3 5 .0 5
total cases where
                                                                                                          5 .0 1 5 .0 1
                                                     5 .0 0

employment was                                                                    1 .6 5 1 .6 2                                                                 1 .9 3 1 .8 3


demanded,                                            0 .0 0

almost        95%                                                 B ih a r       C h a t t is g a r h    J h a rk h a n d        M a d h y a P ra d e s h
                                                                                                                            S ta te s
                                                                                                                                                              M a h a ra s h tra   U ttta r P ra d e s h


people were given
employment.
                                                                                E m p lo y m e n t D e m a n d e d                                 E m p lo y m e n t P r o v id e d




                                                                                                                                                                                                           7
Status of NREGA Implementation




         Though this data may seem impressive, it can also be misleading. It has been observed in
         all the states under study that people are not actually applying or demanding jobs as a
         right. Invariably, in all the states, the works being undertaken by panchayats and other
         agencies are being carried out like any other developmental work. People are being
         absorbed simply because both resources as well work are available in the village.
         Therefore, one cannot say for sure if employment is being provided as a guarantee as
         there is no explicit demand by job card holders are a right for employment.

         The real challenge would come some years down the line, when there may not be
         sufficient work within the village or when panchayats may not have the requisite funds to
         initiate new work. Considering the fact that the Act and the schemes that the state
         governments have floated are still new, and that the people are not as aware of the
         ‘demand’ aspect of the Act, there will be, in the coming months, considerable pressure on
         state governments for employment as and when demand for work picks up in these
         districts. It has also been seen that there is very little emphasis on training of panchayat
         representatives in planning. There is a need to train panchayats to take up NREGP
         activities in a systematic and planned manner, so that the employment guarantee can be
         ensured along with the creation of sustainable infrastructure in these villages.

         5.1.4. State-Wise Funds Released
         More than 137000 works have been sanctioned under the project. The details are as
         shown in the table below. An analysis of funds released for works reveals that only 20%
                                                                                                 funds allocated for the
                                                                                                 current year have been
                            No. of Works Started in Different States
                                                                                                 utilized so far. Also, the
                                                                                                 rate of progress differs
             Madhya Pradesh
                                                          Maharashtra
                                                             4%
                                                                                                 from different state to
                  51%                                                                            state     and   district to
                                                                                                 district. Since funds are
                                                                                  Utttar Pradesh
                                                                                        18%

                                                                                                 released directly to the
                                                                                                 district by the Centre, the
                                                                                                 State Government is not
                                                                                                 in a position to reallocate
                                                                                      Bihar      funds to better performing
                                                                                                 districts (in terms of fund
                                                                                       13%


                                                                                                 utilization).
                                                                      Chattisgarh
                                                Jharkhand
                                                                         7%
                                                   7%


         Release of funds is also proportionate to the number of works started in different states.
         Amongst states under study, the maximum numbers of works have been started in
         Madhya Pradesh, while the least is in Maharashtra. There is a great deal of variation in the
         proportion of funds released to states. A comparison of the total registered households
         and funds released reveals that Madhya Pradesh has the maximum amount released per
         family. In Madhya Pradesh, on an average, an amount of Rs 2554.95 has been released
         per registered family. This figure is the lowest in case of Maharashtra, where the amount
         released per family in only Rs 433.88. Madhya Pradesh has almost 58% more funds
         released than the national average, while Maharashtra is 73% lower than the national
         average.




   8
                                                                                                    Status of NREGA Implementation




5.1.5. Release of Resources
The state governments are
supposed to create a fund                            Funds Released per Registered Household
called the State Employment            3000

Guarantee Fund, which will             2500
                                                                                   2554.95


receive the grant from the
Centre. The State Government
                                                                   2002.04
                                       2000




                                                 Amount (in Rs)
                                            1686.35
has to supplement the grant
                                       1500
from       the     Centre    for
                                                                                                              1243.31


implementing the scheme. The
                                                     1020.81
                                       1000

amount released by the Central                                                                   433.88
Government as well as the
                                        500


state’s matching share are                0

given in the table below. The                Bihar  Chattisgarh   Jharkhand     Madhya Pradesh
                                                                            State
                                                                                               Maharashtra Utttar Pradesh


states have to provide 10% of                                           State Value            National Average (Rs 1621.50)


the total amount sanctioned for
implementation of the scheme. Most states have complied by allocating the state’s share.
The data available from different states reveals that Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and
Uttar Pradesh have actually released the state’s share, while Madhya Pradesh and
Maharashtra are yet to release their share of resources. In Madhya Pradesh, the state’s
share has not been released because the State Employment Guarantee Fund has not yet
been created. The government is in the process of creating this fund. As an interim
arrangement, the first instalment of funds from the Central Government was sent directly
to the districts.

                                  Release of Centre and State Share for NREGP

                                                                   Release During Current Year
S.N                                                                     (Amt in Rs Lakh)
                State
 o
                                                                  State matching        State's share
                                        Centre                                                                                   Total
                                                                       share          actually released
1      Bihar                              40503.38                      4500.38                 4500.35                         45003.73
2      Chattisgarh                        18836.72                      2092.97                 1732.17                         20568.89
3      Jharkhand                          37618.59                      4179.84                 4179.81                         41798.40
4      Madhya Pradesh                    116698.20                    12966.47                        0                        116698.20
5      Maharashtra                        17961.64                      1995.74                       0                         17961.64
6      Uttar Pradesh                      33498.69                      3722.08                    2600                         36098.69
       TOTAL                             265117.22                    29457.48                13012.33                         278149.55
Data Source: nregp.nic.in, August 2006


5.1.6. Expenditure Pattern
The expense on wages (skilled and unskilled), material and contingency in different states
is mentioned below (data from Maharashtra is not available). In the five states where data
was available, the payment on wages was nearly 70%, and that on material was around
30%. The contingency expenses were around 1%, except in the case of Uttar Pradesh,
where contingency expenses were slightly above 2 %. In Madhya Pradesh, there are
almost 50,000 works that have been completed till date. The State Government has
claimed that preliminary findings reveal nearly 90% of the works taken under NREGP have
been implemented by Gram Panchayats. The total person-days of work generated till now



                                                                                                                                           9
Status of NREGA Implementation




         in the state are 1035.79 lakhs. Thus, on an average, per day wages in Madhya Pradesh
         work out to Rs 51.94.

         In all states, payment to skilled and unskilled wages is almost 70% of the total
         expenditure. This is so because the work being undertaken is soil-based and labour-
         intensive. Currently, there is enough soil-based work in villages, but in all the states, there
         is very little panchayat land available in villages and as implementation of the programme
         picks up, there is going to be a shortage of soil- based work. This means that other
         activities which involve more material cost will have to be included, and the proportion of
         material cost to labour cost will have to be reworked in the scheme if employment has to
         be guaranteed. If this proportion is not changed, people applying for employment may not
         get work and the state governments will have to pay unemployment allowance instead.

                                                 Expenditure Pattern Under NREGP

                                                      Cumulative Expenditure                         Percentage to total
          S.No           State                          (Amt in Rs Lakh)                                expenditure
                                      On           On semi-                  On                                  Conti
                                    Unskilled     skilled and    On        continge                       Materi ngen
                                     wage        skilled wage   material     ncy       Total        Wages  al     cy
           1     Bihar               11163.75        2308.26    5973.201 154.481      19599.69       68.74 30.48     0.79
           2     Chattisgarh          10094.5         347.55     4439.91     38.82    14920.78       69.98 29.76     0.26
           3     Jharkhand            8858.98        1083.21     4075.25    144.13    14161.57       70.21 28.78     1.02
           4     Madhya Pradesh      53803.39        4931.22     24264.1    564.73    83563.44       70.29 29.04     0.68
           5     Maharashtra                NA            NA          NA        NA             NA       NA     NA     NA
           6     Uttar Pradesh        9130.09         490.53     3499.91    285.63    13406.16       71.76 26.11     2.13
         Data Source: nregp.nic.in August 2006


         5.1.6. Key Findings from Government Data

               Among the six states, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have the maximum rural households
               that can be covered under the scheme. If the programme is implemented in the real
               sprit of the Act, these states can be among the better performing states as far as
               receiving central grants is concerned.
               The status of registration of households in Maharashtra and Bihar is extremely poor.
               Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh are on track as far as issuing job cards
               to registered families is concerned. In these three states, the job cards have been
               issued to almost 100% registered households.
               Invariably, in all the states, the number of jobs provided is almost the same as jobs
               demanded.
               Madhya Pradesh has received the largest chunk of resources for implementation of the
               programme. It has got nearly 50% of the cumulative resources released to the six
               states covered in the study. IT is also worthwhile to mention here that Madhya Pradesh
               is the only state where almost 90% works are being undertaken by panchayats.
               The fund released per registered households is abysmally low in Maharashtra. This
               shows a dismal performance of the state as compared to other states.
               In Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the State Government has still not released any
               resources from the state’s share for the programme. As an interim arrangement, the


   10
                                                                                         Status of NREGA Implementation




    grant from the centre was sent directly to the district. However, the districts that have
    high utilisation rates are facing problems in getting the subsequent instalments.
    In Madhya Pradesh, the State Employment Guarantee Fund has not been created till
    date. This is the reason for the delay in release of the state share and the instalment
    to the districts.
    The works being undertaken is labour-based and invariably in all states, nearly 70% of
    expenditure has been on skilled and unskilled labour.


5.2. NREGA from Media’s View
The purpose of the review of the media coverage is to consider issues
reflected/highlighted in the media on NREGA. This has been divided into three sections:
5.2.1. Media Response at the time of enactment
The coverage of the NREGA in the media has changed over a period of time. When the bill
was being discussed in Parliament several journalists and columnists denounced the bill
as:

(i) an economic hoax6 because: it was not the duty of the state to guarantee
    employment; it burdened the tax paying public that actually funded such schemes; the
    nation should maximize production not work, and; government actually destroys jobs

(ii) a corruption guarantee scheme7 because: it was a planned drain of wealth from the
     productive sector to the underground economy; perpetuates the populist legacy of
     politicians; would not only be wasteful but entail fresh taxes and erode India’s
     competitiveness, and; encourage a network of patronage

(iii)   bountiful and wasteful8 because: already the Central government spent over Rs
     40,000 Crore per annum for poverty alleviation which was wasted; the scheme would
     be implemented first in districts represented by powerful politicians who would get the
     chance to utilize tax payer’s money for political patronage

(iv)   a means to call mid term elections9 because it allowed purchasing power worth Rs
    12000 crores to 20 million Indians in the first phase of the programme.

(v) a still-born child10 because: it would generate vast rents with small transfer benefits;
    leakages of government programmes were as high as 98%; reduce growth rate of the
    economy; but land reform could generate capitalist employment.

(vi)    create a hole in government finances11 to the tune of 0.6% of the GDP

(vii) a means to siphon off money12 because the NREGA was to be evaluated on the
    basis of the number of days of employment generated not outputs like creation of

6
  Sauvik Chakravarti, Employment Guarantee a Hoax, Indian Express, New Delhi,
7
  Swapan Dasgupta, Rename REGA as Corruption Guarantee Scheme, The Pioneer, New Delhi
8
  Tavleen Singh, Marxists begin to see the light Not Sonia, Indian Express, Sunday August 28, 2005
9
  N. Chandra Mohan, Jobbing through to the elections, Sify.com, 5 October, 2005
10
   Sebastian Morris, Employment Guarantee Scheme is a still-born child: Try land reforms, Financial Express, August
30, 2005
11
   M.K. Venu, Leading Reform is a two-way street, Economic Times, September 6, 2005


                                                                                                                      11
Status of NREGA Implementation




              assets and therefore could lead to massive fraud by the bureaucrats to show
              generation of employment

         Thus costs of the scheme as well as widespread corruption along with capitalist rhetoric
         were the main objections. The same sentiments were shared in sections of the
         international media13 which wondered as to how the government would sustain the
         programme.

         The Act was defended by a retired bureaucrat14 who disputed the figures of high costs said
         to be to the tune of one lakh fifty thousand crore pointing out that Maharashtra had had
         an employment guarantee scheme for over 30 years. Based on the Maharashtra figures
         the employment guarantee scheme would cost only Rs 17, 000 crore or even less. Another
         writer saw it as a momentous initiative15 that had the potential to boost the rural economy
         and compared it with employment programmes across the world. A third writer pointed
         out that the act improved the rural economy's ability to absorb labour leading to better
         wages.16 It was based on the principle of self-targeting and would benefit only those in
         dire need.17 These were the exceptions.


         5.2.2. Media Response on NREGA programme implementation
         Since then the coverage of the NREGA has changed. The media has either started looking
         at success stories on the positive side or lamented lapses in implementation, which
         prevented the poorer sections from receiving their due. Benefits from the scheme that
         have been highlighted include:

         (i) Rural unemployed labourers in Panchayats in Delhi gaining productive employment18
             for a longer period of time. This was being facilitated by a smooth flow of information
             from Delhi to all tiers of the district officials and the Panchayati Raj

         (ii) Higher participation of women19 in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan where 90% of the
              workers under the NREG scheme are women

         (iii)   Corruption being minimized20 in Rajasthan due to public vigilance leading to more
              than one and a half lakh people gaining employment in Dungarpur district. There was
              massive participation of rural folk Tribal women looked forward to seeing their men
              back home. A Padyatra21 of activist groups in Rajasthan revealed little corruption and a
              pro-active administration.

         (iv)   Reduced rural-urban migration22 in Gujarat and Rajasthan since it enabled
             labourers avoid costs of migration

         12
            Job Scheme: A means to Siphon off money, Rediff Money, September 5, 2005
         13
            Cherian Thomas, Adding jobs But at what cost?, International Herald Tribune, September 14, 2005
         14
            Venkat R. Chary, REGS: Grossly miscalculated?, The Hindu Business Line, 9 September, 2005
         15
            Maxine Olson, Work for pro-poor growth, The Economic Times, October 20, 2005.
         16
            Sridhar, V. 2005.’Empowering the rural poor’, Frontline, Vol. 22, Issue 19, Sep 10-23
         17
            Ibid
         18
            Sonu Jain, Job Guarantee rolls out, ray of hope in New Delhi shadow, The Indian Express, 3 February, 2006
         19
            Avijit Ghosh, Job scheme gets feminised in south Rajasthan, Times of India, 26 April, 2006
         20
            Mohammad Iqbal, Public vigilance helps to minimise corruption in rural employment guarantee scheme, The Hindu,
         28 April, 2006
         21
            Abha Sharma, Coming home to a better tomorrow, Deccan Herald, Bangalore
         22
            Reetika Khera, Employment Guarantee and Migration, The Hindu, 13 July 2006


   12
                                                                                         Status of NREGA Implementation




5.2.3. State-wise highlights on performance
These are specific case studies, stories, and news items on selective states focusing on
problems in implementation:

(i) Lack of assessment especially in Uttar Pradesh where there is no data available on jobs
    required to provide livelihood security23. In fact Uttar Pradesh is seen as a laggard24 in
    this regard.

(ii) Lack of rationalization of work norms25 which are too demanding so that few are able
     to earn the wage rate of Rs 73 per day

(iii)   Corruption and neglect26 hindering implementation of the programme in Haryana
     and UP

(iv)   Low ground awareness, low wages and lack of attendance in gram sabhas27 in
    Gujarat which also has the distinction of having the first court case28 on lack of
    payment of adequate wages

(v) Difficult work sites, underpayment, violation of social security norms, uninformed
    people and children in scorching heat29 characterizing the implementation of NREGA in
    Madhya Pradesh. Discrimination on the basis of caste, community, disability and
    proximity to sarpanch, panchayat secretary have been noticed across the country

(vi)   Several states failing30 to implement provisions of the programme. Haryana,
    Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Kerala have not issued state specific
    operational guidelines. Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have issued their own
    amendments which violate the provisions of NREGA.

Thus, public vigilance and the emerging success stories have induced many media persons
to change their outlook towards the programme. The difference in coverage is now only a
matter of degree with some media being more supportive than the other. An interesting
issue is that those sections of the media that had championed the Act such as the Hindu
are playing the role of watchdogs by pointing out lapses in implementation while other
sections that had been negative or ambivalent such as Business Standard & Indian
Express are coming to a grudging acceptance of the merits of the programme.


5.3. Civil Society Perspective on NREGA
The CSO’s perspective is based on the primary data which was collected during the NREGA
week that was observed in the PACS states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttar

23
     Arvind Singh Bisht, Rural employment: No guarantee yet, Times of India, 19 February, 2006
24
     Times News Network, UP a laggard in the rural job plan, Times of India, 9 August 2006
25
     Mohammad Iqbal, Ibid
26
     Sreelatha Menon, Village ‘dole’ takes baby steps amid apathy, graft, Rediff Money, 7 August, 2006
27
     Rajiv Shah, Report slams state record on rural jobs, Gandhi Nagar, 15 September, 2006
28
     Kamran Sulaimani, Paid just Rs 4 per day under rural job scheme, widow moves Gujarat HC, Indian Express, June
     15, 2006
29
     Sachin Kumar Jain, Digging in times of harvest, Tehelka
30
     States dragging their feet on rural job scheme, says study, The Economic Times, Chandigarh, June 5, 2006




                                                                                                                     13
Status of NREGA Implementation




         Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. In Bihar, the campaign covered 1000 villages
         spread across the poorest districts. Besides, the CSOs were successful in filing 50,000
         application forms, mostly of the Dalits and landless. In Jharkhand, the campaign was
         spread over 550 villages in 20 districts. In Maharashtra, the PACS campaign covered 200
         villages in four districts. It covered a population of around 1,20,000 while in Madhya
         Pradesh and Chattisgarh the campaign covered 420 villages in 11 districts.

         5.3.1. Awareness of the programme
         A rally on NREGS in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh by civil society groups found
         extremely low level of knowledge on the scheme among the community members.
         However, elected representatives specially the Panchayat head and Secretaries of the
         Panchayat were reasonably aware. Similarly, a survey of 15 groups covering about 40
         individuals from different wards of the Panchayat Heera Nagar in the Tikamgarh district of
         the Madhya Pradesh revealed that only 10% of the individuals were aware of the scheme
         (June 2006). Many of the individuals who had even got the employment under the NREGS
         thought that it was some sort of employment provided by the Panchayat from prevailing
         schemes like SGRY etc. It was also observed that the people who formed the upper strata
         of the society were better informed than the workers. Many of these upper class families
         were not seeking employment in the NREGS.

         Most of the road side Panchayats had walls painted with the main features of the scheme.
         But the impact of these wall writings cannot be said for sure in predominantly illiterate
         populations that reside in these villages. In Brijpura panchayat of Chhattrarpur district in
         Madhya Pradesh, it was observed that there was little or no information available at the
         Panchayat level about the type of work available or its timeframe. In Mohraha panchayat
         of the district, the lack of understanding on wage payment rate was creating confusion
         among the villagers. Often people felt that they were being underpaid for the entire days
         work. The disabled were refused work, and in some cases people from outside the village
         were given work in the village.

         In Raipurva village of Chitrakoot district in Uttar Pradesh, it was found that the panchayat
         secretaries were not aware that the responsibility of registering applications was with
         them. There was also some misinformation about the fact that only households listed as
         BPL were entitled for getting job cards. The Rozgar yatra in June 2006 in Patra Para
         panchayat, Rajpur block of Sarguja district in Chattisgarh, revealed that the level of
         awareness was abysmally low People were not aware of the purpose of the job cards.
         Inquiries in the field showed that the distribution of job cards was well under way in
         villages in the districts of Ranchi, Gumla, Lohardagga, Simdega and West Singhbhum of
         Jharkhand, but the process of applying had not begun because the people did not know
         that they had to apply for work A similar situation prevailed in the other states as well. It
         was discouraging to see that only 29% households from 30 villages in 6 blocks of
         Aurangabad district in Maharashtra had applied for job cards. It was observed that this
         was primarily because of very low level of awareness among people.

         In Lachadarga village in Jharkhand, work had not started anywhere in the village, and the
         gram sabha itself did not know about the NREGS. Low level of awareness was also found
         in the Kolebera district of the state.




   14
                                                                        Status of NREGA Implementation




                         Awareness efforts by the government agencies
        State                              Situation on the ground
Bihar                   Minimal early awareness efforts by the government have resulted
                        in very little awareness at the field level. The government efforts
                        have been limited to wall writing at inconspicuous places along
                        roads about schemes of family planning, drinking water and vector
                        diseases. The awareness efforts of CSOs during the NREGA week
                        were fully supported by the government and local administration
                        which produced good results, but the government has failed to
                        develop a proper policy in place to increase the awareness about
                        NREGA.

Chattisgarh             In most of the places it was observed that the government
                        officials did not provide the villagers with adequate information.
                        The awareness generation effort in the NREGP was being done as
                        any other government scheme.

Jharkhand               During discussions with the government officials, it appeared that
                        even the government officials at the block and panchayat level
                        were not fully aware of the scheme and its guidelines.

Madhya                  It was observed that even at the block level, proper awareness
Pradesh                 material was not available.
                        The panchayat representatives said that they had not been
                        provided with any publicity material (no pamphlets, handbills,
                        posters etc.)
                        In some districts a few wall writings could be seen as the only sign
                        of NREGA awareness efforts in villages.

Maharashtra             Despite having an employment guarantee scheme for the past 34
                        years, the Maharashtra REG Scheme formulated NREGA did not
                        evoke very enthusiastic response from the villagers, as no clear
                        signals about differences from earlier EGS and MREGS were sent
                        by the administration.
Uttar Pradesh           Lack of political will was reflected in awareness creation as well.
                        Some lower level officials in private conversations admitted that
                        higher level of awareness could create problems for them as they
                        would always have to be on their toes to provide work to the
                        villagers.



5.3.2. Applications for Job Cards
Though the guidelines of the act say that everyone who registers for work, shall be
provided with job cards free of cost, it was observed that in some districts of these states,
people were being charged money for getting job cards. In Gathewara panchayat of
Chhattarpur district in Madhya Pradesh, inquiries made during the Rozgar Yatra revealed
that job cards had not been made and money was being demanded for making them.
There were no photographs on most of the job cards. People were not aware that they had
to apply for jobs. In Brijpura panchayat of the same district no entries were being made



                                                                                                15
Status of NREGA Implementation




         on job cards about the type of work being
         done, duration of the work, etc. Job cards did
         not have the signature of the sarpanch, nor
         did they have a photograph of the applicant.
         Women were being paid at the rate of Rs 50
         per day, less than the men. In Mohraha
         panchayat of Chhattarpur district, Rs 150
         was being charged for a job card.
         Contractors were doing most of the work.
         Women were paid less than the minimum
         wage. In Raipurva village of Chitrakoot
         district in Uttar Pradesh, it was found that in
         several villages, people had to pay Rs 20-120
         for a job card. They also had to pay for the
         photographs for the job cards. Officials said that since they had not received any funds
         from the government for this purpose, they recovered the cost from the applicants. This
         reinstates the fact that the government officials were not properly aware of the NREGA
         guidelines. It was observed in some villages of the district that a fee of Rs 2 to Rs 5 was
         levied even for the application forms. There were also reports of the Pradhan refusing top
         accept applications for registration from Itawa Dudail Panchayat in Chitrakoot district.

                                      Applications for work and their receipt
                 State                              Issues on the ground
         Bihar                     According to government figures, except two districts, work has
                                   been provided to everyone who demanded
                                   Conscious demand for work was observed in some areas
                                   however, more demand for work is not coming because of
                                   confusion related to nature of work, work duration, distance of
                                   worksite from the village
         Chattisgarh               People were not aware of the procedure to apply for work.
                                   There was no priority to women in allocation of work.
                                   Presence of contractors was also reported at worksites.
                                   In some instances people from outside the panchayat were
                                   found working at the village work sites.
         Jharkhand                 In absence of information about procedures for demanding
                                   work, the work allotment was dependent upon officials’ interest
                                   or CSO’s activism.
                                   At some places work was being provided through contractors.
         Madhya                    Most of the people were not aware that they had to apply for
         Pradesh                   work separately after getting their job cards. At some places,
                                   even if people knew that they had to apply for work they had
                                   no idea about where to apply and the modes of application.
                                   According to the Sarpanch, the block level officials were not
                                   forthcoming with information and this caused undue delay in
                                   providing work.
         Maharashtra               There was lack of information about procedures for applying for
                                   work. Since in some of the districts farmers had committed
                                   suicides recently, the administration was being proactive in
                                   providing work.
         Uttar Pradesh             In most of the district there were no written receipts of job


   16
                                                                      Status of NREGA Implementation




        State                                Issues on the ground
                          application given.
                          There was lack of awareness of the procedure because the
                          Sarpanch did not know that he was not authorized to take
                          applications since work had to be provided by the block. The
                          block level officials said that there was no such provision in the
                          act to give dated receipts of applications received.


5.3.3. Availability of Job Cards
In Chattisgarh, it was observed that Job cards were not made till the date of the yatra.
The Sarpanch did the registrations of the families but the community by and large did not
know about the registration and had not received any cards. They only knew that their
photograph had been taken to be pasted on some cards. In 30 villages surveyed in 6
blocks of Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, of a total of 30,002 households, 8,881 were
found to have registered for job cards, and 5,920 got them. This means that only 67% of
the registered households had received the job cards till June 2006. Similarly in Biloli
block of Nanded district, of the 12,840 households surveyed, only 4,373 had registered for
job cards and only 1,558 got job cards. In Naigaon block, of Nanded district, of 13,822
households surveyed, 1,852 had registered and 552 got job cards. No one in the 15
villages surveyed in these blocks had actually got work under the NREGS. In Kinwat block,
of a total of 1,078 households, 862 registered and 324 got job cards. In Himayatnagar
block, of a total of 448 households, 360 registered for work and 288 got job cards. In
Mukhed block, of a total of 1,836 households, 962 registered and not a single person got a
job card.

In Yeotmal district (Maharshtra), around 50% of households in the 5 blocks surveyed had
registered for work, out of which 25% received job cards. Around 50% of the 46 surveyed
villages had prepared micro plans. In Ralegaon block, of 6,804 surveyed households,
1,417 had registered and 1,198 had job cards. In Yeotmal block, of a total of 10,462
households, 2,538 had registered and 967 had job cards. In Zari, of a total of 1,974
households, 655 had registered and 335 had job cards. In Kelapur, of a total of 524
households, 193 had registered and 96 had job cards. In Maregaon, of a total of 443
households, 150 had registered and 63 had job cards. In Lachadarga village in Jharkhand,
around 250 people attended the meeting of the yatra. During the discussions if was found
that the village had 150 families and only 5 family had received the job cards.

A common practice observed in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand was that the job cards
were not filled properly. In several villages it was observed that the job cards were taken
back by the panchayat secretary before making the payment. These cards were returned
after a long period and that too without entering any details in the card. In Semri Jhakrasi
Panchayat of Raibareli District, people were asked to get the photographs for job cards on
their own and the pradhan had promised that the amount would be reimbursed to them.
There are still around 25 job card holders who have not received the reimbursement in
Parwa Rajdhar panchayat of Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh, people had applied for job
cards in August and they did not receive it till October.

                                  Registration and Job Cards
        State                                Issues on the ground
Bihar                   It was observed that there was undue delay in issuing Job cards
                        after receipt of application


                                                                                               17
Status of NREGA Implementation




               State                                Issues on the ground
                                 Job cards were being issued without any registration number
                                 and/or photos of adult members
                                 In some villages, people were being asked to pay for the
                                 photographs in direct contravention of the due procedures
                                 It was also observed that no details (job done, wages paid etc)
                                 were being recorded in the job cards
         Chattisgarh             It was observed that money was being demanded for making job
                                 cards
                                 Generally people were not clear about the procedures of getting
                                 job cards
                                 It was found in most of the places that the job cards prepared
                                 were incomplete (for instance there were no photos, no
                                 registration number, no Sarpanch’s signature)
                                 Job cards were being made on joint family basis in contravention
                                 of rules of NREGA

         Jharkhand               It was observed that people in all the NREGA districts have paid
                                 money ranging from Rs. 20-120 for getting the job cards.
                                 Majority of the people have been charged between Rs. 30-60 for
                                 photographs (officials contend that since no fund has been
                                 provided for photographs, it is being charged to the beneficiary),
                                 It was also observed in some districts that deadlines were fixed
                                 for applying for job cards and in some cases job card applications
                                 were not accepted after the due date

         Madhya                  Job cards were not being distributed timely. In some districts jobs
         Pradesh                 cards were lying with the Panchayat Secretary for the past few
                                 months
                                 Photographs were not pasted on the job cards which was being
                                 put forward as an excuse for non-issuance of job cards
                                 It was also observed that people were not aware of the utility of
                                 the job cards
                                 There were also reports of touts asking for Rs. 200 in lieu of
                                 helping in getting the job card made

         Maharashtra             Despite having history of EGS in the state less than 50% of those
                                 who have registered have got NREGS job card
                                 In Aurangabad district the government claims to have distributed
                                 100% job cards but in reality just two of the five blocks in the
                                 districts have got 100% job cards
                                 In some districts APL people not being registered for the scheme
                                 by saying that the scheme is only for the BPL families

         Uttar Pradesh           A situation has been created where it seems mandatory to have a
                                 printed registration form for application and most of the cases the
                                 forms are not available
                                 It was also observed that the authorities are taking a dilly-dallying
                                 approach to avoid paying unemployment allowance in case of non-
                                 provision of work


   18
                                                                    Status of NREGA Implementation




5.3.4. Payment of wages
It has been reported that wages were not being paid according to the norms. Not only
were there delays but the wages were lower than the prescribed minimum wages. In
several areas topographic features as well as competition led to higher wages locally but
there were no provisions in the NREGA to take this into account. Gender discrimination
has also been reported. In Brijpura panchayat of Chhattrarpur district in Madhya Pradesh
It was also observed that women were not engaged as much as men because according to
the panchayat, they could not show progress with women labourers. In Uttar Pradesh and
Madhya Pradesh it was found that the muster rolls are not being filled in the prescribed
registers. Instead the panchayats are filling the wage payment details on plain paper. It
was also observed that false data is being entered in the job cards. It was observed in
Jamurva Buzurg Panchayat in Raibareli District that payments for the plantation work
undertaken in August and September have not been released till date.

                                    Payment of wages
        State                            Situation on the ground
Bihar                    Till date, work has been started at very few places.
                         In some districts it was observed that wage payments was
                         lower than what was stipulated and there were also report of
                         delayed payments for the work undertaken under NREGP.

Chattisgarh              There was gross discontent among villagers about low wages,
                         especially in areas of hard soil strata. Payment was done on the
                         basis of the work done, however it seems there is no difference
                         in the rates for normal soil and hard strata. Thus people did not
                         get the complete wage for the work done.

Jharkhand                The state government hiked the minimum wage from Rs. 60 to
                         Rs. 73. However the wages being paid at the NREGA worksites
                         appear to be lesser than the old minimum wage rate.

Madhya                   Rampant delay was observed in making payments due to the
Pradesh                  non-availability of overseers for evaluation of works
                         undertaken.
                         At some places wages being paid were lower than the
                         stipulated minimum wage for the agriculture labour,
                         At some places, there was difference in wages being paid to
                         male and female workers.
Maharashtra              Delays in wage payment was common at worksites, Sarpanch’s
                         attribute this to non-release of funds from the Taluka office.
                         In some places, gender discriminatory in wage payment was
                         also observed.

Uttar Pradesh            In some of the areas wage rate stipulated by the government
                         was less than the current market rate creating a disincentive
                         for the people to come to the NREGS work sites.




                                                                                             19
Status of NREGA Implementation




         5.3.5. Provision of worksite facilities
         While the act provides for extensive worksite facilities such as crèche and first-aid to be
         made available to the people there is little evidence of this in practice. Women with small
         children have been badly hit by this omission while the lack of first aid has endangered the
         workers since earth works do involve the possibility of injuries. At the most drinking water
         has been provided and that too has not been universal.

                                               Work Site facility
                 State                              Situation on the ground
         Bihar                     In most of the cases inadequate worksite facilities were
                                   present. Apart from drinking water no other facility like crèche,
                                   first aid, shade were available at the worksites.

         Chattisgarh               The worksite facilities in Chattisgarh were also very poor. There
                                   were no facilities like first aid kit or crèche.
                                   Women often complained that since the worksites did not have
                                   any facility for crèche, they either did not go for work or had to
                                   leave their children at home.

         Jharkhand                 There was complete lack of facilities at the work site
                                   People had very low level of awareness about the provisions
                                   related to facilities at work site

         Madhya                    As observed in most states worksite facilities were non existent,
         Pradesh                   Even the PRI representatives did not know about the facilities
                                   to be provided at the worksite.

         Maharashtra               Facilities as per the provisions of the act were not being
                                   provided at the work sites.
                                   The local officials were ignoring directions of higher authorities
                                   with regard to the facilities that had to be provided.

         Uttar Pradesh             Work had started in very small pockets hence it was difficult to
                                   draw conclusion at this stage, however at the few worksites
                                   there is hardly any facility available.



         5.3.6. Unemployment allowance
         The act enjoins upon the concerned officials to pay unemployment allowance to those
         holding valid job cards if they are unable to provide work to the applicants. This provision
         has hardly been implemented even when work was not granted. While officials have made
         claims in this regard they are difficult to verify due to lack of valid receipts. The people
         were also hardly aware that they could claim such an allowance.

                                           Unemployment Allowance
                 State                            Situation on the ground
         Bihar                     No unemployment allowance payment yet. The chief minister
                                   reportedly said to the officials that if unemployment wages
                                   were paid in any block that amount would be deducted from the


   20
                                                                       Status of NREGA Implementation




     State                                Situation on the ground
                         concerned officials salary- this he said in front of TV cameras-
                         (He probably meant that work should be provided to everyone
                         who demands and he won’t bear any laxity on this account)-but
                         the result is that officials are trying to discourage application for
                         jobs.

Chattisgarh              Since there are no dated receipts given either for registration or
                         job application it was very difficult to verify the official claim on
                         delay in job provision. Hence there was no payment of
                         unemployment wages.

Jharkhand                The awareness level of people regarding unemployment
                         allowance is very low.
                         At places the work was being done through contractors hence
                         there had been no reports of actual unemployment allowance
                         payment.

Madhya                   There had not been any case of unemployment allowance being
Pradesh                  paid till date. However, this was basically because people were
                         either not getting any receipt for their application or they were
                         not getting a dated receipt.

Maharashtra              Even in Maharashtra there had not been any case of
                         unemployment allowance payment till date. This can be
                         attributed to many reasons like lack of awareness among the
                         villagers and lower level government officials, and non
                         availability of dated receipts.

Uttar Pradesh            There are no instances of unemployment allowance payment
                         from the state till date.
                         It was also observed that awareness level was very low and
                         most of the people did not even know about such provisions in
                         the act.




5.3.7. Major Findings from Field Data
    There was very low awareness among citizens, elected representatives and
    government officials (at levels below block) and this has been a major reason for the
    flaws in the implementation of the scheme.
    It was observed that there while people were keen to work and some of them were
    also registering for work, there were very few states where the job cards had been
    disseminated properly. In places where the job cards had been provided, it was
    observed that there were a lot of anomalies.
    In most of the states it was observed that the Job cards were not being used.
    It was also observed that people were not applying for jobs. In some states where
    people did apply for jobs they were not receiving proper receipts.




                                                                                                 21
Status of NREGA Implementation




         5.4. Citizens’ Perspective on NREGA
         Looking collectively at the data gathered from 107 villages across 6 states, presents a
         varied picture where some aspects of the implementation process of REGS are being
         adhered to whereas some others are being neglected.

         Work had started in 55% of the villages covered. For the jobs generated male workers
         have had a slight edge with 51% of total jobs cornered. Looking at social categories break
         up in terms of jobs Scheduled castes had 23% of the total jobs whereas ST group had
         38% of the jobs and the OBCs had 18% of the total job generated. Average wage
         payment for both the male and female workers was Rs. 53.75. In case of periodicity of
         payment of wages only in 26% of the instance wages were paid within 7 days of the
         stipulated task completed in 46% of the cases wages were paid in after 20 days of
         completion of the task. In case of distance of the worksite from village being more than 5
         km only in 12 % of such cases 10% extra wage was paid. The measure of transparency
         was not very high given that muster roll and related documents were openly available in
         only 37% of the cases. Among the worksite facilities drinking water was omnipresent but
         crèche was available at less than 5% of the sites. The similar was the fate of the first aid
         facility at the worksite. For proper monitoring and supervision of the works additional
         manpower was available at less than 5% of the sites. There were cases of job demand
         reported in only 10% of the area covered.

                                           Comparative analysis of performance of NREGA
                                                Based on 107 sample village data
            Issue          Uttar Pradesh        Madhya           Bihar       Jharkha        Maharashtra        Chattisgarh
                                                Pradesh                         nd
         Work status   – work started in     – 50% works       – Work       – No        – Work has         – Work started in
                         70% villages          completed         started       work       started In 50%     all the villages
                       – 25% works                               in just       going      villages.          covered, 15%
                         completed                               20% of        on in                         work
                                                                 the           the                           completed.
                                                                 Panchay       surve
                                                                 ats           yed
                                                                 covered       villag
                                                                               e
         Jobs          –   SC : 28%          – SC -1%          – Hardly     – N.A.      –   SC- 25%        –   SC-37%
         generated     –   -OBCs : 50%                           200                    –   -OBC -42%      –   ST-15%
                       –   ST : 20%          – ST-85%            person                 –   ST- 33%        –   OBC-8%
                       –   Women : 48%       – OBC -3%           days                   –   Women-58%      –   Women-53%
                                             – Women :           generat
                                               39%               ed so
                                                                 far
         Wage          – Rs.58 for male      – Rs.61 for       –            – N.A.      – Wage             – Rs. 60/day for
         payments        and female            both male                                  payments in        male and
                         against               and female                                 the range          female
                         provision of        – In 40% case                                Rs.20/- to Rs.
                         60-50% wage           wages paid                                 52/day
                         payment               after 15 days
                         between 1-2
                         week
         Transparenc   – In 60% villages     – In 30%          – No         – N.A.      – In none of the   – In 40% of the
         y               muster rolls          villages          transpar                 villages,          cases muster
                         were read             muster rolls      ency                     muster rolls       rolls read in the
                                               are read          norms                    were openly        GS
                                                                 being                    read
                                                                 followed
         Work site     – 20% case,           – 20% cases,      – Even in    – N.A.      – 30% of the       – In 10% of the
         distance        worksites 5 km        nowhere           the case                 worksite           cased worksite
         more than 5     away but only         extra wages       of                       farther than       farther than


   22
                                                                                          Status of NREGA Implementation




     Issue     Uttar Pradesh           Madhya            Bihar       Jharkha      Maharashtra           Chattisgarh
                                       Pradesh                         nd
km             in 50% of such         paid              distance                 5km but no            5km but no
               cases extra                              being                    extra wages           extra wages
               wages paid                               more                     paid.                 paid
                                                        than 5
                                                        km no
                                                        payment
                                                        of extra
                                                        wages
Worksite     – Drinking water       – Drinking        – No           – N.A.    – Drinking water      – Drinking water
Facilities     available but          water             facilities               available but         available but
               crèche and first       available but     availabl                 crèche and first      crèche and first
               aid facility rare.     crèche and        e at the                 aid facility rare     aid facility rare
                                      first aid         worksite
                                      facility rare
Additional   – At 15% job           – At none of      – No           – N.A     – No additional       – No additional
manpower       sites additional       the job sites     provisio                 manpower              manpower
               manpower               additional        n of
               available              manpower          extra
                                      available         manpow
                                                        er
Job Demand   – Job demanded         – No demand       – No           – No      – In one instance     – No case of job
               in 10% of the          made so far.      demand         dema      job demanded,         demand.
               villages but                             so far         nd so     job was
               even after job                                          far       provided after
               was provided                                                      15 days
               after more                                                        without
               than 15 days in                                                   unemployment
               90% of the                                                        allowance.
               cases no
               allowance was
               paid




5.4.1. Uttar Pradesh
  W or k St a t us- At least one work had been started in 70% of villages surveyed. Total
  estimate of works comes to Rs. 3,32,0500. Earliest starting month was April, 2006, and
  some works were started in October, 2006, too. Because of the intervening rainy
  season, hardly 25% of the works have been completed so far.

   Jobs ge ne r a t e d- Looking at person days break-up in terms of social categories, OBCs
   got away with a lion’s share, with more than 50% of the jobs generated going to them,
   followed by SCs (28%) and STs (20%). General category persons lagged behind, with
   less than 1% jobs generated so far. In gender terms, women constituted 46% of the
   total work force. Participation of disabled was at less than 5% of the worksites. Around
   20% of job locations had workers who were above 60 years of age. By general
   observation, it was seen that the disabled and the elderly were not getting any different
   jobs but were being made to work just like any other able-bodied worker, and since
   wages were was based on task completed, they often lagged behind in securing
   minimum wages.

   W a ge Pa ym e n t s: As far as payments are concerned, the average payment was Rs. 58
   for both male and female workers, which is less than the minimum stipulated in the Act
   i.e. Rs. 60. In less than 10% of cases, payment was done within 7 days, around 50% of
   wages were paid between one and two weeks, and almost 10% of payments were made
   after 20 days. The most common reason for delay was stated to be non-evaluation of



                                                                                                                           23
Status of NREGA Implementation




           completed work by the sub-engineer, while the absence of the Panchayat Secretary was
           cited as another.

           Transparency- In 60% of villages, muster rolls were openly read in the GS, whereas in
           40% of the villages, it was not available for scrutiny.

           W or k sit e dist a n ce - In 20% of the cases, worksites were more than 5 km away from
           villages, but only in half of them an extra 10% was paid along with their wages. In cases
           where multiple works were going on, women were given preference in providing working
           closer to the village in 30% of such cases.

           W or k sit e fa cilit ie s- In terms of worksite facilities, drinking water was most common
           whereas a crèche was the rarest, available at less than 5% of worksites. First-aid boxes
           were also a rarity, with availability at less than 10% of work sites.

           Addit ion a l m a n pow e r for im ple m e n t a t ion - About 15% of sites had additional
           personnel deputed to monitor work; in most cases it was an accountant. 50% of
           respondents were satisfied with field personnel wherever they were.

           Job D e m a nd- In 10% of cases people applied for work but in 90% of these job
           applications, work was provided after 15 days without any unemployment allowance. No
           case of worksite injury was reported from any site.



         5.4.2. Madhya Pradesh

           W or k St a t us- In block Paraswara of district Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh, which was
           chosen for the survey, work had started in all the surveyed villages with a total estimate
           of Rs. 1,60,00,00. The earliest work began in May and the latest in October, 2006.
           Around 50% of the works have been completed and of the works completed, none had a
           valuation lower than the estimate.

           Jobs ge ne r a t e d-. Looking at person days break-up in terms of social categories, STs
           had the largest chunk with more than 85% (Balaghat is a tribal district) of jobs
           generated, followed by OBCs (13%) and SCs with less than 1% jobs generated so far. In
           gender terms, women constituted 39% of the total work force. Participation of disabled
           was observed at less than 20% of worksites, whereas almost all the job locations had
           people of age group 60+ years working.

           W a ge Pa ym e n t s- As far as payment is concerned, the average payment was Rs. 61 for
           both male and female workers. In 20% of the cases wages were paid within 7 days, in
           40% of cases wages were paid after 15 days, and in 20% cases it took more than 20
           days to pay the wages. The reason for the delay was stated to be non-evaluation of
           completed work by the sub-engineer, and non -completion of work because of rains.

           Transparency- In just 30% of cases were muster rolls openly read in the GS, whereas
           in 70% of villages the muster roll was not openly available.




   24
                                                                        Status of NREGA Implementation




 W or k sit e dist a nce - In 20% of cases worksites were more than 5 km away from the
 village, but in none of the instances an extra 10% was paid as wages. In cases where
 multiple works were going on, women were given preference in working closer to the
 village in all such cases.

 W or k sit e fa cilit ie s- In terms of worksite facilities, drinking water was most common
 whereas a crèche was totally absent, available at none of the worksites; first aid boxes
 were also uncommon, reportedly available at 10% of the worksites.

 Addit ion a l m a n pow e r for im ple m e n t a t ion- At none of the sites was an additional
 personnel deputed to monitor work. Monitoring was done by the Panchayat Secretary,
 Panchs or Sarpanchs themselves.

 Job D e m a nd- There has been no instance of people applying for jobs. No case of
 worksite injury was reported from any site.


5.4.3. Bihar
 Eight blocks across three districts viz. Jamui, Muzaffarpur and Nalanda were covered in
 the study. Of the eight blocks and 11 Panchayats surveyed in the month of October,
 work had started in only two panchayats in Nalanda and one panchayat in Muzaffarpur.
 The total estimate of only Rs. 50,000 has generated only 200 person-days of work. As
 for the rest of the Panchayats, registration and job card distribution was going on at a
 sluggish pace. On enquiry, concerned personnel attribute the situation to two major
 factors, the first being the recent Panchayat elections, and second being the BPL survey.
 They are of the opinion that because of the recent panchayat elections, the incumbents
 are relatively inexperienced and were taking their time to initiate a novel scheme like
 BREGS in their areas. Lack of technical know-how is also an impediment. About the role
 – or lack thereof- of government machinery, officials are of the opinion that just after the
 Panchayat elections, they have been busy with the BPL survey, and only after its
 completion can they can focus on the BREGS. Moreover, there has been not a single
 appointment so far specifically for NREGA works, though there were very clear
 instructions in the guidelines to the effect. There is a massive lack of awareness about
 the Act and its provisions in the field, and even government officials are not completely
 aware of the scheme. Even after the Chief Minister’s focus on the BREGS and his appeal
 to officials to provide jobs on demand, there seems to have been no acceleration on
 their part to issue job cards and start of new works. It was only because of the CMs
 appeal that the official machinery cooperated with CSOs during the NREGA Week
 campaign in July, 2006.


5.4.4. Maharashtra
  W or k St a t u s- Work had been started in 50% of villages surveyed in Aurangabad and
  Yavatmal districts. In Nanded district, no work had yet begun. The total value of work
  was around Rupees 16.5-lakhs. All the works were started during April-May 2006. No
  work was complete till September, 2006.

 Jobs ge ne r a t e d- Looking at person-days break-up in terms of social categories, caste
 groups got away with 42% of jobs generated, followed by STs (33%) and SCs (25%). In
 gender terms, women constituted 58% of the total work force. This higher level of
 participation of women can be explained by the fact that the districts covered fall into



                                                                                                  25
Status of NREGA Implementation




           migration the belt and most men migrate to the nearby industrial town during non-crop
           seasons. At none of the sites was participation of the disabled observed, and only at one
           worksite were people of age group of 60+ years were working.

           W a ge Pa ym e n t s- As for payments, at one site the average payment was Rs. 20/ day
           for both male and female workers. The concerned officials said that since payments are
           based on a piece rate, people were not able to complete the minimum work for the day,
           which is required for wages to be paid in full. At another site (earth work), payment was
           in the range of Rs. 45-Rs. 52 per day. It was because of this low wage that men found it
           more profitable to migrate. At two worksites, payments were made within a week, but at
           one of the sites, it took 15 days or more. The absence of evaluators was cited as a
           reason for the delay in payments. Another reason was the delay by the block office in
           clearing submitted bills.

           Transparency- In none of the villages covered were muster rolls openly read in the
           Gram Sabha.

           W or k sit e dist a nce - In just 30% of the cases were worksites more than 5 km away
           from the village, but only in none of them was an extra 10% paid as wages. In cases
           where multiple works were going on, women were given preference in working closer to
           the village.

           W or k sit e fa cilit ie s- In terms of worksite facilities, drinking water were the most
           common whereas no crèche was seen at any of the sites. First-aid boxes were also not
           common, with availability at only at 25% of the sites.

           Addit ion a l m a n pow e r for im ple m e n t a t ion - At none of the sites was additional
           personnel deputed to monitor work; in most cases, work was supervised by Panchs or
           the Panchayat Secretary. In about 50% of cases were people satisfied with the field
           personnel (Panchs, Panchayat Secretary) wherever they were.

           Job D e m a n d- In just one instance had people applied for a job, but a job was provided
           after more than 15 days and without any unemployment allowance being paid. One case
           of worksite injury was reported from one of the sites, but he was not provided free
           medical care by the authorities.

         5.4.5. Chattisgarh
           W or k St a t u s- Work was going on in all villages covered in Chowki, Manpur and Mohla
           blocks of district Rajnandgaon. The total estimate of the work came to Rs 10-lakhs, with
           the first work started in the month of May and the latest in July. Around 15% of the
           works have been completed, and of the works completed, none had a valuation lower
           than the estimate.

           Jobs ge n e r a t e d-. Looking at the person-days break-up in terms of social categories,
           caste workers had 39% of total work generated, closely followed by SC workers with
           37%. SC workers had 15% share and OBC workers 8% share of the total work
           generated. In gender terms, women constituted 53% of the total work force.
           Participation of disabled was not observed at any worksites, whereas almost all job
           locations had people of age group 60+ years working.



   26
                                                                         Status of NREGA Implementation




 W a ge Pa ym e n t s- As far as payments are concerned, the average payment was Rs. 60
 for both male and female workers. In just 15% of the cases were wages paid within 7
 days, in 60% of cases wages were paid after 15 days, and in 25% of cases, it took more
 than 20 days to pay the wages. The reason for delay was stated to be delay in release of
 funds from the Block office and non completion of work because of rains.

 Transparency- In just 40% of cases were muster rolls openly read in the GS, whereas
 in 60% of villages, the muster roll was not openly available.

 W or k sit e dist a n ce - In just 10% of cases were worksites more than 5 km away from
 the villages, but in no instance was an extra 10% paid as wages. In cases where
 multiple works were going on, women were not given any preference in working closer
 to the village in all instances.

 W or k sit e fa cilit ie s- In terms of worksite facilities, drinking water was available at all
 the worksites, whereas crèches and first aid boxes were found nowhere.

 Addit ion a l m a n pow e r for im ple m e n t a t ion - At none of the sites was additional
 persons deputed to monitor work. Monitoring was done by Panchayat Sewak or Panchs.

 Job D e m a n d- There has been no case of people applying for a job. No case of worksite
 injury was reported from any site.


5.4.6. Jharkhand

 Of the five villages covered which were spread over five Panchayats in four blocks, no
 work had been started till the time of data collection in October. The Jharkhand
 government had recently revised the minimum wage and increased it from Rs 60 to Rs
 73 per day, but reportedly, in villages where NREGA work was going on, the actual
 payment was lower than even the earlier wage. During the survey, interviews of local
 officials were conducted in-charge of NREGA implementation. Their awareness level was
 found to be abysmally low, and in some cases, the officials failed to point out the
 difference between Food-for-Work Programmes and NREGA. The situation was no
 different for PRI representatives and Panchayat level government functionaries. There
 seems to be a complete lack of awareness about NREGA and its procedures, and it
 seems that the government effort to popularize JREGS had been minimal. In villages
 where some work under NREGA had begun, it was following the same pattern as earlier
 employment generation programmes, wherein there was no participation of people in
 selecting the work or mode of execution. It was being decided by block level officials at
 will, in collusion with a few PRI representatives and Panchayat level officials.




                                                                                                    27
Status of NREGA Implementation




         6. Institutional Hurdles - Panchayat Perspective


         6.1. Envisaged role of panchayats in NREGA

         Gram Panchayats are central to the implementation of NREGA at the grassroots. The
         National Employment Guarantee Act envisages that at least 50% of the total works are to
         be executed by the Gram Panchayats. Remaining 50% jobs may be executed by other
         agencies such as the higher tier of panchayats, government departments or voluntary
         organizations. The Project officer at the block level will coordinate with the Gram
         Panchayat for facilitating the implementation of NREGS at the grass roots. The act ensures
         that Gram Panchayats have maximum control over the planning and resources as Gram
         Panchayats take decision on the 50% jobs. In any case the panchayats remains an
         important institution as the jobs are demanded from the panchayat and employment is
         generated at the Panchayats.

                        Envisaged role of Gram Panchayat in execution of NREGA

               Make a development plan of the Panchayat and list out projects to be undertaken as
               NREGS in accordance with the Gram Sabha’s sanction.
               Registration of families and distribution of job cards.
               Receiving application for work and providing employment.
               Executing the work from amongst the development plan of panchayat, which has been
               sanctioned by the project office.
               Maintaining muster roll and distributing wages from the funds received under NREGS in
               the Panchayat account.
               At least 50% of works from the sanctioned one, will be executed through Gram
               Panchayat while the reaming 50% will be undertaken by the other execution agencies
               like Janpad Panchayat, District Panchayat, Government department and NGOs.

         The following three processes are working simultaneously at the block level with respect to
         the execution of NREGS at the Panchayat.

         (i)      Panchayat have to make a plan and build a shelf of the project to be taken up in
                  NREGS.
         (ii)     People will demand work from Panchayats as an employment guarantee.
         (iii)    Gram Panchayat acts as an implementing agency and provides employment as well
                  as wages to workers.

         Gram Panchayat though plays an important role, however, it is not acting totally
         independently. It is supposed to execute the projects in close coordination of other
         institutions, individuals and processes. These may be related to the states preparedness in
         handling the ambitious national scheme or interface of technical staff for technical
         approvals with the panchayats. Each of these factors has influenced the institutional
         performance of the panchayats in the NREGS. Therefore it is necessary to examine each of
         these factors before concluding upon the panchayats efficiency and effectiveness in
         handling such an ambitious and resource rich scheme. In this section each of these factors
         are taken up to understand their influence at the grass-root level and the conflict posed at



   28
                                                                     Status of NREGA Implementation




the panchayat with their interplay. The following factors influencing the performance of
panchayats in implementing NREGS:

   Availability of the fund at the panchayats for the implementation of the NREGS
   Availability of the technical approval to the Gram Panchayats from the concerned
   authorities.
   Timely technical evaluation of the completed projects by the concerned departments so
   that the wages can be distributed in time.
   Flexibility to the panchayats in choosing the project, so that panchayats undertake
   work that is the priority of the community.
   Climatic, geographical and topographical features posing difficulties to the panchayats
   in undertaking the earthwork or work ‘directed’ in the national and state priorities.


6.2. State’s preparedness in handling the National Act- locally
Many states are still struggling with the teething problems of implementation of the
National act at the state level. Some of the states like Madhya Pradesh has been more
active while some have had an extremely poor response. For instance, in Uttar Pradesh,
State Government passed its own state scheme in compliance with the National Act on
23rd May 2006. This resulted in a delay of the preparation of state guidelines and
consequent implementations of the NREGS by the Panchayats in the state. The state
councils were also formed late in many states. Therefore, even in case of problems, there
is no avenue for redressal. Like in Jharkhand where 20 districts out of the 22 districts of
the state are covered under NREGS, the state council has not been formed. Jharkhand and
Bihar have had their peculiar problems due to lack of panchayat bodies in place to take up
the program. The Panchayat election in Bihar was delayed and therefore, neither the
panchayat nor the state was prepared to take the programme through panchayat. In
Jharkhand the situation is even more difficult, where Panchayat elections have not taken
place till date. The delayed election in panchayats in these two states obviously affected
the performance.

   Many states like Uttar Pradesh have taken a long time to prepare operational
   guidelines.
   Sate council in many states were formed very late like Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
   However, Jharkhand showed the spirit in implementing the state led employment
   guarantee scheme in the left out from NREGA districts of the state.
   Some states like Uttar Pradesh restricted the number of job cards to be issued. So that
   they could handle the demand for work with the number of technical staff currently
   available in the state.
   Maharashtra was very slow in implementing       Madhya Pradesh has been amongst the
   the national act despite having the             better performing states with highest
   experience     of   running   a   state    run  utilization of the central fund, notably
   employment guarantee scheme for more            90% of the work undertaken in
   than 30 years. Of the 41.4 lakh people in       Madhya Pradesh is executed through
   Maharashtra who had applied for the job card    Panchayats.
   only 10.95 had been issued the card.
   Chattisgarh has been extremely slow in          Maharashtra and the Uttar Pradesh are
   issuing the job cards. Job cards had not been   the states showing extremely poor
   issued in Rajpur block of Ambikapur district    political will in the implementation.
   till the month of June. Yet the State
   Government issued orders for not providing


                                                                                              29
Status of NREGA Implementation




             unemployment allowance from 15 June to 15 October.


         6.3. Unequal distribution of funds and the resource utilization in districts

         A Panchayat can initiate work in its Gram Panchayats only when funds are made available
         to the gram Panchayats account. However, in the last nine months of the implementation,
         many Panchayats did not receive the required grant in time. Similarly, there was a
         different response of the states as well as districts to the implementation of NREGA.

         Some states were very active in implementation like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan while
         some states lagged behind like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The policy of transfer of
         funds from the Centre to the State in implementation was more or less same across the
         board. Yet some of the districts more and some other districts received less grant. In
         Madhya Pradesh the first kick off grant was released by the centre in the month of March
         and April directly to the districts. Many districts with the same number of job cardholders
         received remarkably different amounts in the first kick off grant.

         Some of the better-prepared districts i.e.
         the districts with efficient administrative   Some districts received remarkably low
         machinery and leadership like Sidhi           amount in the first installment (for kick off)
         district in Madhya Pradesh, were quick to     of NREGS grant from the centre. Therefore
         respond to the scheme. The panchayat’s        the implementation in these districts was
         micro plans and shelf of project were         greatly influenced. For example Umaria,
         ready with the perspective plan of the        Tikamgarh, Chatarpur and Satna district in
         district. These districts were quick to use   Madhya Pradesh were released relatively
         the first instalment of the grant which       low amount in the April to kick off the
         was released somewhere in the month of        programme.
         the March or April. The well-prepared districts consumed the first instalment so fast that
         there was a shortage of funds in these districts before the centre released a demand
         based second grant. For example Sidhi district in Madhya Pradesh was released Rs. 60
         Crore as the first grant, but the district started executing projects whose cumulative
         budget exceeded Rs. 80 Crore. There was a fund shortage to the tune of Rs. 20 Crore in
         the district in the initial phase of the implementation of the scheme. The fund shortage
         was later replenished by the second release of 51 Crore in the district. In many other
         districts where perspective plans were not ready the execution of NREG got delayed. In
         both the cases, job cardholders demand work and delay in execution of work is seen as
         inefficiency of Panchayats as job cardholders make Panchayats accountable for the non-
         performance of scheme.


         6.4. Top down implementation drive adversely affecting local planning
         The success of NREGA depends on two important factors - creation of employment for
         poor and needy, and creation of required infrastructure and productive assets in the
         scheme. This scheme probably provides the first ever, such a big opportunity to gram
         panchayat. Panchayat have freedom to plan large-scale work and execute the work with
         sufficient resources provided under the National Employment Guarantee Act. The legal
         provisions in the Act strengthen the Gram Panchayats for their control over the planning,
         implementation as well as resources.




   30
                                                                      Status of NREGA Implementation




There are certain conditionality fixed in the National directives:
       The act stipulates that material to the labour ratio should not exceed 40 to 60.
       The directive is to undertake the earthwork under the NREGA.
       Water conservation work was given the top priority in the NREGA.


In fact, Panchayats are suppose to make a perspective plan of a larger time frame and
prepare a shelf of project, to be executed under the     NREGS. However, in practice
panchayats autonomy to plan according to their need was curtailed by state led top down
campaigns.


Due to too many guidelines and
instructions    either     from    the      Mismatch of community needs and works
national level or at the state, from                        undertaken
the top, Gram Panchayat remains
the notional decision maker in the      Jaundi Panchayat in Badarvas block of Shivpuri
whole process. Tacit ‘Advise’ is        district in Madhya Pradesh has a Adhivasi hamlet in
given        by        the       chief  its village. This hamlet is separated by the rest of
executive/project officer of the        the village by a seasonal nullah. This hamlet is cut
block to Panchayat heads to             off from the external world for many days during
prepare project proposals in line       the rainy season as the nullah over flows during
with the state priorities. For          rains. The Panchayat and community desperately
instance,    NREGS       in    Madhya   needed an over-bridge on the nullah. However,
Pradesh was merged with state           panchayats was instead asked to take the road
wide water conservation campaign        construction. Similarly, in Mungaya village of Sareti
and plantation drive. Similarly in      Panchayat of Sidhi District, Madhya Pradesh, the
Chattisgarh, many of the state          villagers wanted to take up the level of land as the
programs with specific objectives       first activity in the NREGS. The village is
are    merged     with     the   State  dominated by poor scheduled caste people. They
employment guarantee scheme.            have very small land holdings and the village is
Though well intended in content,        dominated by undulated land. Leveling of the land
these campaigns have jeopardized        could have made it fit for the agriculture. However
the    Panchayat      autonomy       in the panchayat was directed to undertake the
planning. Many indigenous plans of      construction of a new well and recharge of an old
the panchayat are sacrificed for        well. The water from the well may not be used for
the state-wide directives for the       agriculture on such difficult land.
success of the state led campaigns.
Thus the immediate and essential needs of the people were compromised. Small things
like repair of drains couldn’t be undertaken, as Panchayats in NREGS districts do not have
any flexible funds. In Madhya Pradesh Jala Abhishek campaign during the summer for
water conservation was followed with Hariyali drive for the plantation during monsoon,
took away any opportunity of panchayat centered planning. A little later panchayats were
once again asked to make a six monthly plan under the name of Kapil Dhara for
undertaking work on roads, wells and ponds.
In a survey undertaken in six districts of Madhya Pradesh in the month of June covering
five panchayats each, there is a clear mismatch on priorities of the people vis-à-vis work
initiated in Panchayat. From a social mapping exercise, undertaken in five panchayats
each of six districts of Madhya Pradesh on priorities of the panchayat and the actual works
sanctioned, shows a distinct mismatch between priorities and NREGS projects. The work



                                                                                                31
Status of NREGA Implementation




         initiated at the Panchayat is usually of 8th to 10th work in the order of priority of the people
         of the Panchayat.

         Experiences in U.P
         The plantation drive was commonly seen in many states. Such drives jeopardized the
         panchayat plans. State led campaigns were more or less forced on the panchayats. In
         many such drives specifically the plantation drive, the provision of the act, or the
         autonomy of gram panchayat in planning was compromised. Not only this, the expenditure
         provisions, autonomy of Gram panchayat in handling the resources and the ratio of wages
         to the material was over looked. For instance in Uttar Pradesh, the state used the NREGS
         resource to plant Seven hundred and Ninety lakh (790 lakh) in the state-wide plantation
         campaign. The administration simply asked the Panchayats to buy plants from it at the
         rate of 7500 thousand rupees for 500 plants. The Panchayats head of the Gram Sabha had
         little role in the campaign. Panchayats Secretaries were summoned and the drive was
         carried out in their association. The Pradhans are not any more willing to undertake the
         NREGS because they are only used as rubber stamps by the administration and the
         Panchayat Secretaries. They are scared that they might be implicated tomorrow for the
         cheques that panchayat secretaries are making them sign.

         Experience in M.P
         Roadside plantation has been taken around the Nanda panchayat in Betul block of Betul
         district of Madhya Pradesh. Since need protection from animals etc therefore, most of
         district has passed executive orders for taking protective measures to save saplings.
         Therefore, in Betul district a barbed iron wiring fencing on cement polls was undertaken
         around plantation area. 1.5 mtr high barbed wire was tied to cement polls placed at a gap
         of 2.25 mtrs. In the preparatory phase undertaken in the panchayat out of total
         expenditure of Rs. 3.77 lakhs, only a paltry sum of Rs.67143/- (18%) was spent on
         wages to unskilled labours and on material Rs.3,09,857/- (82%) has been spent. Though
         there is some indirect labour payment to people preparing the cement poles all around the
         district but it is difficult to calculate the exact proportion of wages to the material.

         The implementation of the campaign, when looked at macro level gives a reasonably
         positive picture on expenditure norms. However, the micro realities are sometimes quite
         contrary and deceptive. For instance the
         plantation drive at many districts was pushed      Citizens denied work on demand
         by the district administration in violation of
                                                        In Kundupuru village of Aurangabad District
         prescribed norms of expenditure ratio.         Maharashtra, Rs. (188736/-) One lakh Thirty
                                                            eighty thousand seven hundred and thirty six
         Compulsory earthwork in NREGS is sometime          has been sanctioned on the NREGS. From
         unable to accommodate the panchayat’s              amongst the75 families in the village 331
         need or available conditions like land             have applied for the registration and have
         resource & seasonal cycle. Many Panchayat          the job card. 150 families in the village
         do not have adequate land to undertake the         requested the Panchayat to provide them the
         ‘directed ‘work under NREGS and Panchayat          job but panchayat could not provide any job
         heads are waiting for further directives from      to them. Since, according to the Panchayat
                                                            Secretary, the required site for undertaking
         the state on the issues. In fact an insensitive
                                                            the ‘Directed’ activity is not available with
         district administration furnished Panchayats       the panchayat. 690 people of the panchayat
         for not being able to take up the work. Five       have submitted a memorandum to the
         panchayat secretaries in Betul District of         Collector on this issue.
         Madhya Pradesh were suspended for their


   32
                                                                      Status of NREGA Implementation




failure to undertake plantation drive. The Secretaries mentioned that heavy rains and
overflowing Tapti River forced them to initiate this.

In many states the release of the instalment to the Panchayat coincides with the beginning
of the rains in the panchayat. Panchayats in such situation failed to undertake NREGS. For
instance digging of a pond in        Kholdabagh panchayat in Aurangabad district was
sanctioned but due to heavy rains panchayat could not undertake the work. It is also
found that many Panchayat do not have adequate land to undertake the ‘directed’ work
under NREGS and Panchayat heads are waiting for further directives from the state on this
issue.

Similar complaints were heard in Huddi Tola, Sonepuri and Dhondi Panchayats of Madhya
Pradesh. Members of the Baiga community articulate that the provisions of the NREGS did
not suit the local conditions. Delays in implementation had led to large-scale migration
since the people had no work.

6.5. Inadequate flexibility in guidelines for addressing local issues

Experts on the issue prepared the state and the national guidelines, however, there are
many unforeseen conditions that cannot be anticipated. Panchayats need at least
minimum flexibility and sensitivity to handling by the administration. For instance in
Rajnandgaon district of Chattisgarh, construction of pond and other water conservation
structure are being pushed by the state administration, however, the local soil condition is
such that the water seeps in, and can not be stored for long, if strong bottom base
(pitching) of the pond is not prepared. However, Panchayats with NREGS resources could
not undertake such investments.


                      Rigid guidelines may impact quality of work

   Deepening of the pond in Noguan Darshan Singh village in the Sidhi block of the Siddhi
   district, Madhya Pradesh was stuck .The strata had very large boulders and stones
   which could not be lifted manually. Panchayats asked for permission for the use of
   machine but was refused for the same. It took Panchayat substantial amount of time
   and energy to lift the boulders manually. Some of the boulders could not be lifted as
   they were too heavy and they are still submerged in the water. The wage rate was also
   substantially reduced for which Panchayat could do nothing

   Similarly Tappa Panchayat in Dongargarh block of the Rajnandgaon district of
   Chattisgarh judiciously planed for the age old water problem in their village. They
   decided to regenerate an old pond in their Panchayat which had been reduced to a
   dirty swamp. A weed by the name ‘Beshrram’ had covered the entire pond. The pond
   was not in use for many years. The local villagers along with the Panchayat were
   convinced that pond can meet their future need for water. They made the proposal for
   deepening of the pond under NREGS, which was duly accepted. However there was no
   provision for payment for clearing the ‘weed’. The cost of clearing the weed was
   running in several thousands rupees and could not be borne by the Panchayat or
   written off as local contribution. Panchayat had to take several trips to the district
   administration, yet their demands were not met. The case was further advocated at
   the state level and only then a solution could be found.


                                                                                               33
Status of NREGA Implementation




         6.6. Hurdles of technical clearance in Gram Panchayat projects
         Before initiating a job, village panchayat is supposed to take technical approval from the
         Rural Engineering Services or other competent authorities. Further there is a need for
         technical estimates of the work and technical evaluation of the completed projects, for
         fixing the value of the project.

         Panchayats dependence on technical support may be listed as following

             o   Getting technical permission for initiating any project under NREGS
             o   Preparing technical estimates for the project to be executed by the panchayat
             o   Measurements of the project executed and its final technical evaluation

         Most of the states were not prepared to
         efficiently handled manifold increase in civil     Panchayat Samashpur, Shawla of Pratapgarh
         work that was initiated in NREGS. This             district in Uttar Pradesh had passed a
         resulted in a shortage of technical staff.         proposal in Gram Panchayat for de-silting of
                                                            a pond in the panchayat. The Panchayat was
         Panchayats’ prerequisite of technical sanction
                                                            allocated   the   fund    for  the    activity.
         of NREGS Projects, delayed the execution of
                                                            Unfortunately the panchayat could not take
         the job. Thus, despite having adequate funds       up the execution of work because the
         in Panchayats and people being ready with          technical permission was delayed for very
         job cards, Panchayats have failed to provide       long time due to non-availability of technical
         jobs and could not execute work in time. It is     staff. In many Panchayats there are
         generally     stated   by    the    Panchayat      inadvertent delays in granting the technical
         representatives that there is an average           sanction for executing the work
         delay of one month to start any civil work
         from the date of submitting the Panchayat’s proposal to the block office. Because of the
         delays in technical sanction of the projects it is also reported that elected representatives
         have to take several trips to the competent technical authority/person before the technical
         sanctions are granted for the projects. The speed at which a proposal gets technical
         sanction many a times depends on the Panchayats willingness to bribe the concerned
         technical officials.

           In the village of Tikaria of Manikpur block in Chitrakoot district, men of the village migrated to the
           near by town. The Sarpanch Shyamkali of the village informed that the block office had only
           registered 55 people for the job cards and they had not handed over the cards to the villagers.
           The Sarpanch wants to initiate the digging up of a pond but the Junior Engineer was demanding
           Rs.5,000/- as 1% Commission for sanctioning the proposed pond. The Panchayat Secretary whose
           signature is must in the job card is also missing for the last three months. on one hand the
           communities expect jobs and on the other, Panchayats have no control over the interfacing
           individuals.

         There are many such instances                 Deliberate over estimation and underestimation is
         where Panchayats are on one hand              common       in  preparing   the   technical    estimates.
         pressurized     by     the    district        Overestimates are helpful in pocketing the money
         administration to provide jobs under          through the corrupt practices, while underestimates are
                                                       used for troubling the Panchayats. For instance, Srijan a
         N.R.E.G.S,    while   the   technical
                                                       voluntary organization was given the responsibility of
         agencies    harass Panchayats       in        executing NREGS in selected Panchayats of Tikamgarh
         providing technical sanction. It is           district in Madhya Pradesh. They made plans for initiating
         also    common      that    technical         watersheds in the Panchayat. Srijan could execute the
         estimates are prepared irresponsibly          project in substantially low budget as compare to the
         at the whims of the technical staff.          estimated cost provided in the technical estimate.


   34
                                                                       Status of NREGA Implementation




The Panchayats are forced to follow such estimates in absence of any alternative
mechanism to check the same.


6.7. Inadequate support in developing sound technical estimates of civil works
Panchayats are required to have sanction on a technical estimates prepared by the
relevant authority. Therefore, panchayats performance is dependent on the speed at
which the estimates are expedited as well as honesty and sensitivity in preparing the
estimates. However, in the last few months of the implementation of the NREGS,
panchayats have faced the difficulties in technical estimates of the civil work undertaken
by them to undertake the job.

Following difficulties faced by panchayats in technical support

o   Delay in getting guidance of Government civil engineers/concerned agency in
    preparation of technical estimates
o   Overestimation and underestimation of costs, during evaluation is common. Both are
    used as means of promoting corruption
o   Standardized measurement-rate norms are being followed in the district irrespective of
    varying local condition or topographical feature in a Panchayat. Many Panchayats, fail
    to complete the works at the standardized rate. As wage payments on piecework basis
    is disproportionate to the labour put in.

Though most Panchayats, are able to prepare a rough estimate of the projects. They need
support in preparing technically sound projects. Panchayats also need support in preparing
the estimates in technical language. However, the Panchayats can obtain the same from a
specific competent authority. There are no alternatives to take technical help from. There
are also no mechanisms, whereby Panchayats can be given time bound feed back on
technical aspects. This increases the Panchayat’s dependence on the technical staff of the
Department. Mostly Panchayats are willing to appease the technical staff so that their
projects are not tangled in technical approvals.

More so it standardized measurement rate,               Standardized measurement rate
followed in the entire district, poses challenges      forces Panchayat to pay wages at
on the Panchayat having difficult terrain or                      lower rate
distant location from the material source.
                                                     Chamori Sangram Gram Panchayat in
Though differential NREGS rates are fixed for a      Sidhi     district of   Madhya     Pradesh
different type of geographical terrain, yet in       undertook the deepening of the wells
practice, standardized measurement rate is           under NREGS. The terrain is rocky and
followed in the districts. Thus, a panchayat,        there is hard soil at the bottom of the
which is located very far away in the interiors      well. Therefore, deepening of the well
have    to   bear    the   additional   cost   of    was costlier compared to a normal soiled
transportation    of    material.   Similarly   a    terrain. Yet the panchayat was paid on
panchayat, which has hard soil or rocky terrain,     the standardized rate prescribed in the
                                                     district for a normal terrain. To save the
gets no extra cost for excavation work.
                                                     loss of the panchayat, the sarpanch paid
                                                     a wage of Rs.40-50 to the labourers who
During the execution of the work, large boulders     worked on the well deepening.
and similar material are often found while
undertaking the earthwork such deepening of the pond or digging of the well. Use of the
manual labour not only makes the task extremely difficult and time consuming but also
adversely affects the wage rate, as measurement of such works become a difficult task.


                                                                                                  35
Status of NREGA Implementation




         However the community expects the provisioned rate while the department’s technical norms
         only allow the wage rate as per the cost calculation by the technical staff. Panchayat’s
         repeated requests to allow use of machines in such cases are normally turned down by the
         departments.


         6.8. Unfair technical evaluation of the civil works done
         Shortage of staff, as well as vested interests normally delay the evaluation of completed
         projects of Panchayats. For instance in Madhya Pradesh, there are 5 to 6 Sub Engineers,
         posted in a block, managing 60 to 80 panchayats on an average. Therefore, one engineer
         is supposed to manage approximately 10 Panchayats. In tribal districts, the hamlets itself
         are very sparsely located. Thus, each sub engineer has to cover a large area, especially in
         states and districts having lower population density. Many Panchayat heads surveyed in
         Madhya Pradesh told that a sub engineer visits the site of Panchayat covered by him/her
         approximately not more than once in a month. Therefore, there is little technical support
         by the sub engineer. Additionally, there is a gap of one to two months for technical
         evaluation. Therefore, projects keep pending at the Panchayat level for final evaluation
         reports and submission for payments.

         These delays have bearing on the wage disbursement to the community. Since the
         material cost is fixed, the Panchayats make all the adjustment needed to equalize the
         actual cost evaluated with the wage rate. The delay in payment to the people is
         proportional to the time taken in completion of technical evaluation of the work done. It is
         a common practice by the sub engineers to call the sarpanches to their residence instead
         of coming to the site for technical evaluation of the project. Therefore, unless the project
         is cleared, the Sarpanch is very sceptical of making payment to the people. Many a times
         the money paid as bribe or mismatch between the actual cost and the evaluated cost are
         deducted from the wages of the poor labourers by Panchayats.

                      Technical evaluation delays and the wage payment of labours

             The extremely well intended beginning of NREGS scheme in February in Madhya
             Pradesh witnessed detailed instructions from the Rural Development Department to
             the districts, blocks and Gram Panchayat for smooth implementation. The office orders
             maintained at the Gram Panchayat should have a buffer of project and resources. The
             intention was that the panchayat should not face scarcity of projects or resources and
             work should be generated easily on demand. However, contrary to this, there has been
             inadvertent delay for initiation of project at Panchayat level. The minimum gap of 2-3
             months takes place between the proposal sent by panchayat and the technical
             approval thereof by the Department.

             Gram Panchayat Daura in Sinhawal block of Sidhi District undertook mud bunding and
             construction of soak pits around the hand pumps in the month of June under the
             NREGS. The Sarpanch requested the Sub Engineer to undertake the evaluation so that
             he could safely make payments to the workers. However, the evaluation took place
             only after two months by mid August. This puts the Sarpanch in a fix. If he would
             made the payments, he would have incurred losses due to discrepancies in technical
             evaluation and if he would decided to withhold the wage payment, the community as
             well as the officials blamed him for corrupt practices. Since the material cost is fixed,
             sarpanches have only the wages to manipulate for meeting the losses.


   36
                                                                     Status of NREGA Implementation




6.9. Delayed departmental response/permission affects Panchayat’s performance
Panchayats are depending on many other individuals and departments while implementing
the employment guarantee schemes. For instance Panchayat need the Patwari’s help in
identifying the Government land available for undertaking construction. Similarly, they
need bank’s support in speedy disbursement of grant etc. These interfacing institutions
are not bound by the panchayat request. There is no time bound procedure for these
individuals/departments to attend to panchayat request. Many a times such individuals
delay the execution of NREGS due to their casual and careless attitude.

The situation is acute in case of forest villages, where panchayats are required to take
additional permission from the forest department before undertaking any construction in
the village. The Panchayats make the proposal and takes several trips to the department
for clearance of the proposal. There are cases, when a panchayat gets            tired of
unresponsive forest department and decides to initiate the work without their permission,
they bear the consequences of the wrath of the department.


   Forest Department in Forest Villages forces Panchayat to not initiate NREGS

Bhimpur block of Betul district has a Forest Village by the name of Imlidhoh. Koruku
tribals are the dominant habitants of the village and they migrate for approximately 9
months every year.

Imlidhoh was disbursed Rs.3 lakh for initiating the NREGS in the village. The proposal
made by the Gram Panchayat could not be approved by the forest department and the
poor Korukus continued their migration. The villagers made several verbal as well as
written request of the department to pass their proposals.

Subsequently in the month of September the Gram Sabha was organized in the village in
presence of sarpanch Manchilove and the Panchayat Secretary. They again informed that
the proposal has already been sent to the Forest Department. The villages made a joint
application of 94 job cards holder of the village and even took a receipt for the same from
the Sarpanch. This proposal was taken by the villagers and the Sarpanch collectively to
the Forest Department. The villagers threaten the department that if they do not give
permission to the department will have to pay the unemployment allowance to the
villagers or else they will start the work without departmental permission. This organized
effort only could move the department to act and provide sanction for road construction in
the village. However, many forest villagers are running to the forest departments but their
is no time bound process for the departments act upon the proposal on the NREGS placed
by the panchayat of the forest villages


6.10. State’s response on grassroots difficulties of Panchayats

The states machinery, by and large is satisfied with the implementation of NREGS. They
are of the view that inefficiency and problems are temporary and caused by several
reason.




                                                                                              37
Status of NREGA Implementation




         Technical support
         The workload at the district has increased many folds after the implementation of NREGS.
         The competency and available human resources were inadequate to handle the same.
         However, it is a teething problem that all the states are facing and almost all the states
         are undertaking massive recruitment and trainings to handle the scarcity of the human
         resources. Most states like Madhya Pradesh are as stating that they will be able to handle
         the shortage of technical staff by December 2006. To overcome the additional workload on
         panchayat in record keeping, Panchayats will be provided mates at Panchayat level. Many
         of the states have prepared detailed operational guidelines whereby they have also
         permitted the use of the machines such as road rollers to improve the quality of the work
         by the panchayats.


         Panchayat’s autonomy in planning
         The states have pushed the specific issue based campaigns like water conservation or
         plantation to push the NREGS in the beginning. It was felt by the state authorities that if
         such thrust is not given to the Panchayat, there may be very slow implementation.
         However, such drives had no other intention. According to the government
         representatives, panchayats are provided with all the flexibility to prepare their own plan.
         Even after preparing a long-term perspective plan; panchayats can change the plan
         according to the changed need of the community. The states have responded by saying
         that the panchayats plans are supreme and will be sanctioned. The Madhya Pradesh
         Secretary of Rural Development Department also mentioned that they are forwarding a
         request to the centre to allow different type of jobs under the NREGA. That is if a
         panchayat needs to undertake the construction of a building or check dam or any other
         such structures, they should be allowed to do so. Even the material and labour ratio as
         fixed in the provisions should also be flexible in such situation.

         NREGA has extensive potential for changing the poverty condition in the poorest districts
         of the country. Also the programme has tremendous potential for strengthening the local
         institution of Panchayats. It is only when the Panchayats are given sufficient autonomy
         and authority in executing the NREGS, it is possible that local priorities and development
         will be fulfilled along with employment creation. The above section has tried to build up a
         case where panchayats if given more flexibility, sensitivity and support in implementation
         of NREGA, will be able to emerge as strong local self-governance institutions.
                                                             Work in progress under NREGS
         6.11. Positive examples of NREGA
         Villagers of Bankhedi and Rewadih of
         Jungalpur Panchayat through their
         initiative and efforts showed that
         infrastructure    development   under
         NREGA can change the face of the
         locale and at the same time provide
         meaningful employment to the local
         populace.

         As things stood out for decades, the
         mud roads connecting Jungalpur to
         Bankhedi and Jungalpur to Rewadih


   38
                                                                       Status of NREGA Implementation




were in a bad shape even in dry months. During rains it was impossible to tread the road
even on foot. Villagers had been demanding the construction of WBM roads for the past
15 years but no line department paid ay heed. Finally in 2006 after the promulgation of
NREGA the villagers with the support of a local CSO demanded the construction of roads
and got them sanctioned. The projects together were worth 25 lakhs which involved
construction of total 4 km of WBM roads. A total of 152 hh from Junglepur and 25 hh from
Bankhedi and Rewadih got 35 days jobs during the works which got completed without
any dispute which were common in works carried out by contractors. The new road has
become a beacon of hope and development for the villages boosting not only rural
transportation but also facilitating access to education, participatory decision making and
supply of essential items. Villagers are of the opinion that this positive outcome is a result
of the unique provisions of the NREGA which ensures transparency and proper utilization
of funds.

In Tilgara panchayat of Dhar District in Madhya Pradesh, the works taken up under NREGA
has changed the living conditions of people to a large extent. This year, several activities
were taken under the programme in the village, which has created nearly 16000 man-
days of work in the village. Sustainable infrastructure has been created in the village,
which is benefiting in more ways than one. People gained work during the lean agricultural
period. This resulted in fewer people taking loans from the money lenders.

In the village Aasra of block Dongargaon in district Rajnandgaon in Chattisgarh, after the
initial drive of NREGA most of the households had got registered and got the REGS job
cards, but even after passage of 3 months no work had started in the village. During a
chance meeting with the representatives of a local CSO on 24th May 2006, the villagers
came to know that they have to apply separately for work and just having job card doesn’t
entitle them to guaranteed job. After getting convinced with the idea the villagers applied
for job on the 26th of May. On 10th June they got work in their own village at a pond
deepening site and along with them people from another hamlet of the village got work at
the site.




                                                                                                 39
Status of NREGA Implementation




         7. Ways forward

         NREGA is primarily a new initiative with an existing political will at the centre as well as in
         several states where NREGA is being operationalised. The monitoring results of NREGA
         implementation have highlighted several issues of concerns from different stakeholders’
         point of view. Therefore, it is pertinent to find ways of improving implementation of the
         programme:

         The following interventions are suggested:

         1. Build la r ge sca le cit ize n’s a w a r e ne ss ca m pa ign s for ge n e r a t in g de m a n d side
            of N REGA: There are two ways to generate large scale awareness amongst citizens.
            The first is the model used in large scale education programmes, which involves
            building a cadre of volunteers and taking up village level campaigns to educate citizens
            on their rights and informing Panchayats on their responsibilities. The other kind of
            mass mobilization is an intensive targeted campaign using electronic media, like the
            pulse polio programme that reaches out to almost every family in the country. The
            NREGA campaign could be a mixed approach where, on one hand, electronic media
            could be used to make the scheme popular while on the other, traditional
            communication methods - padyatra, village level meetings, street play, and local folk
            media - could be used to reach the most disadvantaged sections of society, along with
            the support of civil society organizations.

             The awareness campaigns not only provide basic information about the act as well as
             card holders’ rights for 100 days employment, but also provide guidance in exercising
             their rights. The ongoing efforts of the Government to popularize the scheme as well
             as of the civil society to reach out to the potential families need to be up scaled and
             intensified. The success of the programme will largely depend on the effectiveness of
             demand raised by the citizens.

         2. I m pr ove in st it u t ion a l ca pa cit ie s of Gr a m Pa n cha ya t : The panchayats has been
            identified as the key implementation organization for NREGA. Under NREGA, a
            panchayat of 100 households willing to work under NREGS will receive around Rupees
            10-lakh as wages and material cost. Since this amount is almost 3 times more than
            what they usually receive, it has serious implications, especially their capacity to use
            such a big amount meaningfully by generating employment as well as creating
            productive assets.

             Moreover, panchayats are required to maintain multiple registers to keep records of
             NREGS as prescribed by the Centre/state. It is imperative to build their capacity to
             handle the record keeping system as per norms, as many Panchayats continue to use
             the single entry system for their accounts.

             In order to build Panchayats as an effective executing agency for NREGA, it is an
             essential pre-requisite to invest heavily on strengthening their perspective, knowledge
             and skills in the following areas:

                Developing     perspective/     development      plans   of   villages   with   Gram    Sabha
             participation


   40
                                                                                 Status of NREGA Implementation




       Basics of civil engineering and preparing cost estimates of works
       Perspective on relevance of social audits/ transparency in business transacted
       Sensitivity and vision in involving the disabled, women and other disadvantaged
   sections
       Skills in book-keeping and accounts, maintenance of created assets, including tax
   collection.

3. Pro- active planning for effective engagement of block and district Panchayats:
   A clear role must be carved out for Zila Panchayats and Janpad Panchayats in order to
   involve them under NREGA. The higher tiers of PRIs need to be more actively involved
   in NREGS implementation for visioning districts as a unit of development. The piece
   meal approach of treating village Panchayats as units of development will affect
   comprehensive livelihood planning keeping in mind the advantages of economies of
   scale.

   Increasingly, it is being realized that basic work that can be done within the boundaries
   of the panchayat will be exhausted in the coming few years, following which a majority
   of work will involve boundaries of multiple panchayats, viz. link roads, large irrigation
   systems, common markets, etc. Consequently, the higher tiers of Panchayats will have
   a more important role in receiving funds for multi-Panchayat projects, and will have to
   actively engage households in partnership with the concerned village Panchayat. The
   higher tier of Panchayats are also better suited to levy taxes, build mechanisms of
   operation & maintenance of large scale assets, and hire staff at the block level for
   more efficient & cost effective delivery of services. There is also a need to build
   mechanisms for handling joint responsibilities of the three tier system.

4. Ade qua t e a t t e n t ion t o st r e n gt he n villa ge N igr a ni Sa m it is: The success of the
   programme will heavily depend on active engagement of the Gram Sabha to make
   elected Panchayats accountable for proper utilization of available resources by effective
   monitoring. As the Gram Sabha is a broad assembly of all citizens, it is important to
   recognize the role of village/ Panchayat Nigrani Samiti. Village monitoring committees
   need to be formed as per the guidelines in most of the panchayats in NREGS states.
   The members of such committees need to be oriented towards their role and should be
   empowered to make their panchayats display basic information of NREGS
   implementation in the Gram Sabha. The committee can share some of the
   responsibilities of panchayats viz. conducting social audits, identifying families
   deserving work under NREGS and resolving conflicts between beneficiaries and
   panchayats.

   In Sarguja district of Chattisgarh, district administration planned training of village
   Nigrani Samitis in every Panchayat involving civil society. A large scale training
   programme need to be visualized to reach out to every Panchayat for strengthening
   village Nigrani Samities.

5. Fle x ibilit y for t e ch n ica l sa n ct ion of civil w or k s a n d a udit of a ccou n t s t h r ou gh
   com pe t e n t pr iva t e pr ofe ssiona ls: Efforts are being made in all states by the
   Government to appoint technical staff to support the planning of large scale civil works
   as well as technical audit of works done for final payment. Similarly, accounts also
   need to be properly audited on a regular basis to maintain highest standards of
   financial accountability.



                                                                                                              41
Status of NREGA Implementation




             The proposed additional staffing under NREGA by the government will take a much
             longer period depending on the kind of effort being made by each state government. It
             has been observed that the government’s technical staff harass panchayats
             representatives in providing technical sanction or conducting financial audit. They also
             demand bribes to approve schemes even without visiting the site or reviewing the
             document. This results in ineffective supervision, corruption and delay in clearance of
             payments to Panchayats. Delayed receipts in Panchayats adversely affect payments of
             wages to job-card holders.

             There is a need to recognize professionals available at the district or nearby town, such
             as chartered accountants, civil engineering firms, architects, etc. who can be hired by
             panchayats on rates fixed by the government. This will help expedite the process of
             clearing projects and their evaluations. Moreover, it will also create competition and
             reduce dependence on the government system. The overall gain would be in terms of
             reducing corruption and addressing non-performance by Panchayats on account of lack
             of available expertise/technical sanction.

             There should also be a time-bound system of technical sanction and evaluation. The
             departments should be accountable to meet the fixed deadlines. In case of intended
             delays, the departmental staff should also be liable for punishment.

         6. I m pr ove d t e ch n ologica l opt ion s for pe r for m a nce a n d m on it or ing: The website
            of NREGA is not regularly updated and provides inadequate information on
            employment generated, funds allocated, state-wise average utilization etc. There is
            also a need to include break-up of the social category of families benefited, i.e. SC/ST
            and women-headed households under NREGA. This break-up is essential if the scheme
            aims to reach out to the poorest of the poor.

             In aggregate terms, such differentiated realities of vulnerable sections go unnoticed.
             There are several poor widow women and disabled persons who are not getting
             employment. They have a right to be employed as helpers etc. They will be unable to
             avail of such jobs unless regular reporting formats create a space for getting official
             information on these parameters so that questions can be asked on inadequate
             representation of such categories in the list of benefited persons or families.

             Currently, the available data is not provided below the district level i.e. block-wise and
             panchayat-wise details of funds transferred, families benefited and works completed. It
             is necessary to expedite the establishment of computerized system of data recording
             and enable its access at the district level as well as keep information below the district
             level so that more transparent ways of functioning may be developed at the lower level
             of decentralized governance.

         7. Establishme n t of infor m a t ion r e sou r ce centres a nd h e lplin e in colla bor a t ion
            w it h civil socie t y or ga niza t ion s: There are many remote blocks of the NREGA
            districts, which have concentrated population of SC or ST families. Distance from the
            district/ block as well as weak infrastructure and low levels of literacy leave deserving
            families helpless. Potential families have very basic queries related to various
            provisions of the Act and benefits of the programme, which are normally not provided
            to them either by the panchayat or by field level government functionaries.


   42
                                                                     Status of NREGA Implementation




   The information centres will also be responsible for collecting basic issues highlighted
   by the citizens/ families and panchayats, and provide such information to the district
   administration or concerned officials at the state level which is implementing NREGA
   for quick redressal.

   Voluntary organizations selected for each block to run information centres should be
   responsible to build capacities of Nigrani Sam it is and strengthen panchayats for their
   improved performance, keeping a team of professionals available on call by the
   Panchayats. The professional will be mobile and reach to the Panchayat site in case of
   any call for support.

8. Br oa d ba sing St a t e le ve l N REGA com m it t e e a n d pr om ot in g cu lt ur e of
   inclusiveness: Inclusion of some civil society representatives, district collectors,
   district level panchayat presidents, media representatives etc. in the planning process
   is essential so that diverse stakeholder concerns are expressed and incorporated. The
   meetings of the NREGS State committee must happen on a fixed periodicity, so that
   such committees do not remain as a mere formality or a clearing house for policy
   decisions proposed by the executives.

   A culture of Jan Sunwai on a six-monthly basis should be established at the State level
   as a collaborative programme of the State with civil society, along with a formal
   release of six-monthly reports on the performance of NREGA by the Government
   through a seminar, where various stakeholders, including the media, academia and
   grassroots activists present their experiences and point of view. State level committee
   members should also remain present during the seminar so that the committee may
   contribute more meaningfully in guiding the operational framework of NREGA.

   The ways forward provided in this section are based on the emerging issues from the
   experiences of the NREGA monitoring. The intensity of engagement of civil society
   with the implementation process will provide newer challenges and alternative ways
   forward. NREGA should be treated as an evolutionary programme which will not only
   affect the fundamental right to live with dignity but also set standards and exemplar
   for fulfilling many other promises and guarantees of a welfare state.




                                                                                              43
Status of NREGA Implementation




          Annexure


         Data From NREGA Website
                                          Table 1. Districts and Number of Rural Households
              S.No.      State                        Districts      Rural households          % to total household
                  1      Bihar                                    23               8943456                28.7
                  2      Chattisgarh                              11               1792584                 5.8
                  3      Jharkhand                                20               3806040                12.2
                  4      Madhya Pradesh                           18               3890287                12.5
                  5      Maharashtra                              12               3706706                11.9
                  6      Uttar Pradesh                            22               9021545                29.0
                         TOTAL                                   106              31160618
                Data Source: nregp.nic.in, August 2006

                                         Table 2. Registered Families and Job Cards Issued
                                                                                                  % Registered hh
                                                                                                  that received the
                      State      Rural households        Applications       Job cards issued          job cards
             Bihar                        8943456             2401836              1071522                    44.6
             Chattisgarh                  1792584             1696860              1534636                    90.4
             Jharkhand                    3806040             1879011              1205239                    64.1
             Madhya Pradesh               3890287             4281258              4144413                    96.8
             Maharashtra                  3706706             4139778              1094659                    26.4
             Uttar Pradesh                9021545             2694325              2464057                    91.5
             TOTAL                       31160618           17093068             11514526                     67.4
             Data Source: nregp.nic.in, August 2006

                                      Table 3. Employment Demanded vs Employment Provided
                                                                                   Employment provided in
             State              Employment demanded Employment provided            percent
             Bihar                              533009                   505281                       94.8
             Chattisgarh                        165245                   162480                       98.3
             Jharkhand                          501388                   501388                      100.0
             Madhya Pradesh                    1913133                  1804953                       94.3
             Maharashtra                        192867                   183075                       94.9
             Uttar Pradesh                     1792390                  1684110                       94.0
             TOTAL                             5098032                  4841287                       95.0
             Data Source: nregp.nic.in, August 2006


                                     Table 4: State Wise Expenditure against Funds released
                    State          No. of works       Funds released       Expenditure % exp to total released
              Bihar                        17619            40503.38          5171.194                   12.8
              Chattisgarh                   9671            17321.72           9834.02                   56.8
              Jharkhand                     9513            37618.59
              Madhya                       69783            109384.1           40380.9                   36.9


   44
                                                                               Status of NREGA Implementation




      State           No. of works       Funds released       Expenditure    % exp to total released
 Pradesh
 Maharashtra                     6152           17961.65          4441.42                      24.7
 Uttar Pradesh                 25105            33498.69          8512.28                      25.4
 TOTAL                        137843            256288.1          53334.6                      20.8
Data Source: nregp.nic.in, August 2006                                                Amt. In Rs Lakh

                             Table 5. Funds Released per Registered Family
         State          Registered households          Funds released         Funds released per
                                                                               registered family
 Bihar                                2401836                 40503.38                  1686.35
 Chattisgarh                          1696860                 17321.72                  1020.81
 Jharkhand                            1879011                 37618.59                  2002.04
 Madhya Pradesh                       4281258                 109384.1                  2554.95
 Maharashtra                          4139778                 17961.65                    433.88
 Uttar Pradesh                        2694325                 33498.69                  1243.31
 TOTAL                               17093068                 256288.1                  1499.37
 All India Average                   35167503                570242.53                  1621.50
Data Source: nregp.nic.in, August 2006                                                Amt. In Rs Lakh




                                                                                                        45
Status of NREGA Implementation




         Sample villages for the Study
         Coverage
         State             District      Block         Panchayat         Village
                                                       Badausa           Udaipur
                                                       Hadha             Talaiyya Purva
                                                       Udaipur           Naktapurva
                                                       Semaria           Bhusasi
                                                       Dhanael           Duwariya
                                         Naraini
                                                       Barehada          Badausa
                                                                         Hadha, Nagwara,
                                                                         Bajrangpur,
                                                       Nagwara           Barehata, Dhanael,
                                                                         Semaria, Basrehi

                           Banda                       Nandna            Nandna
                                                       Nagnedhi          Semaria Mirdaha
                                                       Hastam            Bhaggu
                                                       Adhrori           Baan Baba
                                         Mahua
                                                                         Tirra ka Purva,
                                                                         Adhrori, Chak Takuli,
                                                       Khamhora          Hastam, Khamhaura,
         Uttar Pradesh                                                   Kusbandhiya ka
                                                                         Purva
                                                       Agara             Agara
                                         Jaspura       Galoli            Galoli
                                                       Khateha Khurdha   Khateha Khurdha
                                                       Puranpur          Jatora
                           Sitapur       Kasmanda      Vikrampur
                                                                         Vikarampur
                                                       Chanhera
                                                       Bar               Bar
                           Lalitpur      Bar                             Bhailoni Lodh,
                                                       Bhailoni Lodh     Bamhori Sahna,
                                                                         Kadari
                                                       Kihuniyan         Kihuniyan
                                                       Tikariya          Tikariya
                           Chitrakoot    Manikpur
                                                       Khinchari         Khinchari
                                                       Manganwa          Manganwa
                                                       Barera            Rasulpur
                           Pratapgarh    Kala Kankar   Samaspur
                                                                         Samaspur Shelwara
                                                       Shelwara




   46
                                                                  Status of NREGA Implementation




State            District      Block          Panchayat         Village
                                              Atwan Asigawan    Atwan Asigawan
                                              Budhagaon         Budhagaon
                 Hardoi        Tadiyavan      Patkuan           Patkuan
                                              Pura Bahadur      Pura Bahadur
                                              Purva Devariya    Purva Devariya
                                              Usargaon-Manora   Usargaon
                                              Baragaon-Riniva   Baragaon
                 Jalaun        Dakor          Minora            Minora Orai
Uttar Pradesh
                                              Jaisari-Khurd     Jaisari
                                              Aunta             Aunta
                                              Kaali Pahadi      Kali Pahadi
                                              Ganj              Ganj

                 Mahoba        Kavrai         Mirtala           Mirtala
                                              Salarpur          Salarpur
                                                                Palka,
                                              Manjhalwara
                                                                Manjhalwara
                                                                Ghodadehi,
                                              Ghodadehi
                                                                Lotmara
                               Paraswara      Badgaon           Badgaon
Madhya Pradesh   Balaghat
                                                                Sukdi, Jagantola,
                                              Sukdi
                                                                Roopjhar, Lagma,
                               Baihar         Sonpuri           Sonpuri, Ukwa
                                              Chinvariya        Chinvariya
                               Lakshmipur
                                              Mariya            Mariya
                 Jamui                        Kundhur           Kundhur
                               Giddor         Patsandha         Patsandha
                                              Ratanpur          Ratanpur
                                              Sirajabad         Sirajabad
                               Sakra
                                              Gannipur Bejha    Gannipur Bejha
                 Muzaffarpur   Kurhni         Shahpur Maricha   Shahpur Maricha
Bihar
                               Bochha         Rampur Jaipal     Vishnupur Narayan
                               Muroll         Pilkhi Gagpati    Pilkhi Gagpati
                                              Koilawa           Koilawa
                               Harnaut        Barah             Kalyan Bigha
                                              Dihri             Dihri
                 Nalanda
                                              Korai             Korai
                               Bihar Sharif   MeghiNagva        MeghiNagva
                                              Pachauri          Pachauri



                                                                                        47
Status of NREGA Implementation




         State                   District      Block        Panchayat       Village
                                                            Parsadakshin    Parsadakshin
                                                            Basuari         Basuari
         Bihar                   Madhubani     Ghagordiha   Amahi           Amahi
                                                            Nauva Bakhar    Nauva Bakhar
                                                            Sarauti         Sarauti
                                                                            Baratand, Barhi,
                                                            Barhi Purv
                                                                            Dhobi Tola
                                                                            Barhidih,
                                               Barhi        Barhi Paschim   Afeenkoti, Ujjaina,
                                                                            Telitola
                                                                            Konra, Podya,
         Jharkhand               Hazaribag                  Konra
                                                                            Harla
                                                                            Belgadha,
                                                            Chanaro         Chichikala,
                                                                            Chanaro
                                               Churchu
                                                                            Dumar, Lara,
                                                            Churchu         Baali, Bodra,
                                                                            Lasod, Jordaag
                                                                            Bhandraitola,
                                                            Bharratola      Tumudikassa,
                                               Chowki                       Bharratola
                                                            Korchatola      Korchatola

         Chattisgarh             Rajnandgaon                                Chhindwadi,
                                               Manpur       Chhindwadi      Marar para,
                                                                            Etegarda
                                                                            Duritola,
                                                            Gidhali
                                               Mohla                        Kanglutola Gidhali
                                                            Amatula         Amatula
                                                                            Durkhed, Alsana,
                                 Buldhana      Shegaon      Durkhed
                                                                            Janori
                                                            Ambala          Ambala
                                               Kannad                       Muddesh,
                                                            Gangapur
         Maharashtra                                                        Vadgaon
                                 Aurangabad
                                                            Pandharpur      Pandharpur
                                               Aurangabad   Gnagapur        Shireshaigaon
                                                            Khultabad       Sulibhanjan
                                 Yavatmal      Maregaon     Maregaon        Narasala




   48
                                                                  Status of NREGA Implementation




Partner Organisations Involved in the Study

PACS Communication agencies
 Maharashtra                 :   Sampark, Mumbai
 Jharkhand                   :   Manthan Yuva Sansthan, Ranchi
 Bihar                       :   Communicators for Development, Patna
 Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh :   Write Solutions, Bhopal

Organisations which collected data

Uttar Pradesh:
 a. Sahbhagi Sikshan Kendra, Lucknow
 b. UPVAN, Lucknow
 c. FORRAD, New Delhi
 d. NYPT India, New Delhi
 e. Sarvodaya Ashram, Hardoi.
 f. Akhil Bhartiya Samaj Seva Sansthan , Chitrakoot

Madhya Pradesh:
 1. Samarthan- Centre For Development & Support, Bhopal
 2. Grameen Vikas Mandal, Balaghat

Bihar:
 1. Binoba Arogya Awam Lok Shikshan Kendra, Nalanda
 2. Ekta Parishad, Bihar/Pragati Gramin Vikas Samiti (PGVS), Muzaffarpur
 3. Gramin Ewam Nagar Vikas Parishad, Patna
 4. Mahila Sewak Samaj, Sheikhpura

Chattisgarh:
 1. Samarthan- Centre For Development & Support, Bhopal
 2. Jagriti Sewa Sansthan, Rajnandgaon

Maharashtra:
 1. Grass Roots Action For Social Participation (GRASP), Aurangabad
 2. Social Institute Programme for Rural Area (SIPRA), Nanded
 3. Gramin Samasya Mukti Trust, Yavatmal

Jharkhand:
 1. Programme For Rural Actions & Youths Association For Social Service (PRAYAS),
    Hazaribag
 2. Society For Participatory Action & Reflection (SPAR), Ranchi




                                                                                        49
Status of NREGA Implementation




         References

         Basu, Arnab K, Nancy H. Chau and Ravi Kanbur (2005): “The National Rural Employment
         Guarantee Act of India, 2005”, processed, Department of Applied Economics and
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                                                                                               51
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                                                                    Status of NREGA Implementation




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