There has been a decrease in the number that were actually provided work out of the total number of households whose demand for work was registered by the gram panchayat authorities concerned. In 2018-19, demand was registered from 5.88 crore households, and 5.27 crore of them were provided work.
The year 2019 has witnessed a dip in the person-days of employment under MGNREGA, which is visible after July.
In the period before July 2019, the work provided exceeded the corresponding levels for 2018.
The fall in MGNREGA employment after July has been largely due to the onset of the southwest monsoon.
The gap between the number of households demanding MGNREGA work and the number who were provided work has been the highest in 2019-20. This indicates that even if demand fell, the supply of work fell even more.
Lack of Funds
The cost of providing a day’s work to a single person has been taken at an average of ₹249.86 for 2019-20. For 270.21 crore people, the MGNREGA budget worked out to roughly ₹67,514.67 crore.
But the total budgetary allocation has been only ₹60,000 crore, which also includes provision towards material and administrative expenses.
Adding to the problem, ₹55,829.62 crore was already spent as on December 24, 2019.
Apart from this, the Centre has revised upwards its original plan of providing 260 crore person-days of work for 2019-20 to 316.73 crore person-days.
This move came after a decision to augment the number of days of employment per household under MGNREGA from 100 to 150 in flood-affected districts of states such as Karnataka.
In the first instalment (December 2018 to March 2019), 8.05 crore farmers were covered, with each of them receiving ₹2,000. Those numbers fell to 7.43 crore in the second instalment (April-July 2019) and further to 5.91 crore in the third (August-November).
In all, the total amount disbursed under the scheme for 2019-20 is ₹32,320.86 crore, which is significantly short of the ₹75,000 crore budgeted for it.
Further, of the total ₹95,000 crore allocated for the scheme since its inception in 2018 ₹48,421.65 crore (roughly half of the total amount) has been spent up to December 2019.