UTTARKASHI AND MGNREGA

 

Abstract

Purpose:-This study compares two blocks of Uttarkashi(Uttarakhand) the purpose is to find out comparative reality between the blocks because both the blocks have a slightly different size of population, geographical condition, economic opportunities and vegetation.

Objective:-The study will evaluate last five year performance of MGNREGA (MG) in Uttarkashi of two blocks Bhatwari and Purola on four parameters like beneficiary details, delay in payments, work demanded and employment provided with the help of graphs. It will conclude with village reality, problems with MG scheme and suggestion how to improve.

Results:-In Purola higher percentage of 51-80 age group are engaged in MG which depicts the lack of social security for senior citizens whereas data suggest that skilled male acquire more work than skilled female workers in both the blocks purola also have higher percentage of employment provided to its people than Bhatwari though much allocation of funds granted to Bhatwari due to higher population percentage.

Keywords: MGNREGA, Wages Payments, Work Catogaries, Employment.

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Introduction

World largest employment scheme MGNREGA(MG) have increased sixteen percent of rural employment resurrecting income of villagers and reducing their debts burdens MG has also increased scarcity of labours in agriculture by thirty percent whereas gender, education and family size prove to be a significant factor. Though 63% amount of income has generated from agriculture 29% from non-Agric and 8% from MG it’s is a matter to reconcile that during harvesting seasons MG employment should be avoided so that adequate amount of labour force can impede less Agric production (B.G. Harisha,N. Nagaraj*b, M.G. Chandrakantha, P.S. Srikantha Murthya, 2011). The mass perception about MG scheme is that it lacks worthiness but MG has created significant amount of employment for smaller and marginal farmers number of participant believe that MG is a backbone for their income this is because water harvesting cambers, constructing small canals, wells have decrease water shortage to Agric fields which subsequently increased farmers income whereas road and horticulture proliferated connectivity and brought techniques in Agric business within the ambit of MG. (Krushna Ranaware, Upasak Das, Ashwini Kulkarni, Sudha Narayanan MARCH 28, 2015). Employment generation through asset creation is not the only motive for MG but also to vitalised Biodiversity(BD)  in region study conducted by the Indian Institute of Science in four states had proven that with the help of MG programme a satisfactory environmental benefit has driven but the irony is United Nation Development Programme recommendation report entitled as Green Rural Development Programme suggested five categories to secure greenery in rural but do not mention about biodiversity. The past experience like Sunder lala Bahuguna and Chandi Prasad Bhatt taught us that not only the institution but local people involvement is fruitful, therefore, MG work should also execute within the ambit of BD to secure and revitalised the surrounding diversity(Mathew K Sebastian, P A Azeez march 8, 2014 ). Aim of MG is also to ensure hundred day guarantee employment to rural people to increase their consumption expenditure few recommendations like Mahendra Dev and Nagesh Singh Committee have recommend different opinion about the wage distribution Mahendra Dev committee have suggested that minimum wage and MG wages should be increased accord to real inflation rate because raising only minimum wages or only MG wages will not legally viable whereas Nagesh committee has suggested that there should be some criteria for state government while deciding the wages rather than state dirigisme. (Aggarwal NOVEMBER 4, 2017). The problem of corruption is a serious issue endure by the MG payments system while distributing wages how to quantify and reduce leakages is imperative. To tame officials what is required is to identify the cause mainly official do corrupt practice to increase their income. Therefore if their loyalty can remunerate with increase in the size of income can reduce their corrupt practice by 64 percent this is because more incentive will be provided for loyalty and good work with honour (Paul Niehaus and Sandip Sukhtankar* November 2013). People’s participation in MG work relies whether the region is agriculture advance or backward, number of people participation is higher under MG in agric backward region whereas participation of people is fewer in advance agric region, non participants in MG of advance region move out from region for higher wages which implies that MG unable to curb out migration those regions with large family size, illiteracy, fewer landholding size have more reliance in MG work and wages this concludes that MGNREGA brace diaspora of financial feeble section (Usha Rani Ahuja, Dushayant Tyagi*, Sonia Chauhan and Khyali Ram Chaudhary 2011).

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Population density:-As per 2011, Uttarkashi population is 330,086. The initial provisional data released by census India 2011, shows that density of Uttarkashi district for 2011 is 41 people per sq. km. In 2001, Uttarkashi district density was at 37 people per sq. km. Uttarkashi district administers 8,016 square kilometres of areas.

Source:http://www.census2011.co.in/census/district/574-uttarkashi.html.

 

Literacy rate:-Average literacy rate of Uttarkashi in 2011 were 75.81 compared to 65.71 of 2001. If things are looked out at gender wise, male and female literacy were 88.79 and 62.35 respectively. For 2001 census, same figures stood at 83.60 and 46.69 in Uttarkashi District. Total literate in Uttarkashi District were 215,126 of which male and female were 128,237 and 86,889 respectively. In 2001, Uttarkashi District had 161,161 in its district.

Source:http://www.census2011.co.in/census/district/574-uttarkashi.html.

Accessibility in terms of transportation and communication:-The villages of Uttarkashi district still do not have proper transport facility and during monsoon season majority of villages losses their connectivity due to dependency of villagers on government rationing infuse this situation to different level it also include emergencies while medical evacuation and connectivity to school and colleges. Majority of villages do not have government bus facility due to which they have to dependent of private taxis which charge accordingly and several times refuse to drop villagers at their promised destination.

Source: Assess by private interviews of some villagers.

 

Economy:-Uttarkashi is blessed with the dividend of pilgrims and tourist Bhatwari, Chinyalisaur, Dunda, and Naugoan are the main blocks who endure heavy deluge of tourism and pilgrims during season it was observed that majority of population in Uttarkashi District are employed in private hotels or have their own Dhabbas and restaurants (people are also engaged in transport services or serving tourists). But two of its blocks Mori and Purola do not have that much of tourism though it have one shrine, both the blocks have major dependency on agric product like Tomatoes, Potatoes etc. In a very succinct way the economy of Uttarkashi can be ramify in two different sections first is agriculture products secondly pilgrims and tourism.

Methodology and Data-Base

 

Descriptive and analytical method is use to analyse actual performance of MG by collecting Qualitative and Quantitative data of two different blocks, last five year data of four variables are compiled and prepared various Pie chart and Bar charts correlation between five variable are extracted with help of last five year data pattern. Secondary data of MGNREGA is assessed form MGNREGA Official website http://www.nrega.nic.in/netnrega/home.aspx some personal interviews and village visit were also conducted to find out ground reality.

Beneficiary Details

                                               A                                                                                 B

 

  • Age wise employment trend, number of people employed from last five years with age group 18 to 80(Blocks Bhatwari and Purola).The aforementioned two graphs A and B depicts age wise employment provided in the two blocks of Uttarkashi district where as percentage of employment provided remain skewed in age group of 31-40 in both the blocks but varied from Bhatwari in case of age group 51-60 and 61-80. The blue portion depicts employment provided to young fellows with age group of 18-30 this may also interpret as high percentage of unemployment in the young generation and more reliance on government assurance.

 

 

 

Graph-C

The Graph C present last five years employment provided to skilled and unskilled males, females in entire Uttarkashi region. It was observed that skilled male population have acquired a much higher percentage of work than skilled females whereas unskilled male has acquired little significance and unskilled female remains around less significant.

► Delay in Payments

DE

F G

 

  • Delayed in payments of last five years in both the blocks B/P with total number of transactions involved and amount involved in lakh. The aforementioned four pie graphs D,E,F,G depicts total amount of transition involved with respect to wages provided to villagers with different time durations. Through graph it is observed that Bhatwari have shown a positive trend by showing gradual reduction in transaction with the increasing time span and decreasing rate of payments whereas Purola have shown negative signs this is because with increasing time duration number of payments gradually resurrected with increasing in payments size, we can conclude that Bhatwari is better off than Purola in contexts of delay in payments.

Work Demanded and Employment Provided

                      K                          L                          M

              

  • The Aforementioned first two graph K,L shows the results of employment demanded and employment provided for two blocks and concludes that Purola is able to provide more employments than Bhatwari in last five years. Whereas third graph M shows wages distribution amount in lakh which suggest that Bhatwari have more amount of wages dispersion than Purola with this it can be conclude that people of Purola enjoy dividend of low population and able to gain more employment than Bhatwari but the amount of wage distribution is more in Bhatwari due to more population than Purola.

Work Category Wise Analysis Table A1

The above graphical figure A1 represents last five year data of category wise work performed under MG scheme whereas Y axis denotes quantity of projects and axis denotes various forms of works and blue, brown bars shows results of work completed and ongoing works in entire Uttarkashi district. Therefore damages caused by disasters and preparedness for disasters have absorbed majority amount of funds allocation and subsequently land levelling ,irrigation and road construction. Graph also suggest that very negligible amount of funds have provided for the maintenance purpose this shows that allocation of funds are done for the asset creation rather reconstruction as for MG is blamed for.

Table.1

Table 1 shows results of Correlation between MG Income (lakh), Delay in payments (lakh), Employment   provided, Employment Provided to skilled Male and Female past five years of entire Uttarkashi district.

Income Delay payments Employment Provided Skilled Male Skilled Female
Income 1 .
Delay payments – 0.236 1
Employment Provided 0.7962 0.221 1
Skilled Male – 0.402 – 0.520 – 0.874 1
Skilled Female . . . . .

 

► The correlation between income and delay in payment appears be negative implies that with further increase in income amount of delay payment will reduce correlation between income and employment provided appears to positive implies with increase in income, employment opportunities will also increase. Therefore negative correlation appeared in income, delay in payment and employment with respect of employment provided to skilled male’s implies that with further increase in size of skilled male under MG will decrease income, delay in payment and employment.

 

Government social security scheme

Ground Reality and Loopholes

 

Village reality:-While interviewing few villagers complained about employment guaranteed for hundred days. It was observed that earlier Gram Pradhan create enough amount of employment for villagers but now the situation is totally different after amendment per unite payments of wages to labour account it became very difficult to generate employment this is because before starting any development work Pradhan have to collect more than ten individuals job cards including linked with bank accounts this impede almost every Pradhan to generate employment even more than 15 days.

 

Leakages:-Realms of leakages while fund allotments starting from the Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) and Block Development Officer (BDO) amount of commission is fixed for allotting funds to village if gram Pradhan have to start any development project it has to bribe top to bottom official accord to the size of allotted amount.

MG Causes Bondages:-It is astonishing that how government policy can repercuss bondage labour this indicates the sorrow state of MG. For avoiding leakages government have implemented “Job cards” to each family to monitor and enumerate a number of days worked in MG. But it was observed that under MG villagers had to mortgage their job cards, not even single Pradhan have entered job card details in musters roll despite this he usually collects all the job card from the villagers and pays them some lam-sum amount of money like (2000 rupees for each card) with no work. But those labours who work in guaranteed employment scheme remained half paid so that they cannot switch to other job and become bondage or dependent on pradhan grace for rest of this life.

 

Private constructor:-Many of the private constructors in MG are identified Gram Pradhan usually hoards a number of job cards from the villagers and pay them some amount of money than he invites private constructor and labour to work under MG to minimise the cost of the project. This act not only dumps the villager’s employment but also reduce the quality of work while development of road, bridge, path and other physical assets labours are imported from different states and countries so to pay less compare to villagers.

 

Impinging inward migration by MG:-The involvement of private constructors also tends to impinge inward migration of labours coming from different states but also from a different country, Nepali and Bangladeshi are the examples. Though they do not have any identity neither work permits (Nepalies have to prepare “Gorkha Card” from Dehradun as a work permit).

 

Asset Creation:-One of the major problem with MGNREGA is lack of assets creation almost every development projects do not have a sense of assets creation, same numbers of walls are been re-contracted several times by Pradhan and each time he uses same proportionate of material so that he may get the opportunity to rebuild it.

 

Source: Private interviews and Site Visit four blocks and 16 villages of Uttarkashi.

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What Precludes MGNREGA Payments?

 

  1. Blank Job Card:-Job cards were introduced so reduce leakages in MG wages job card remains with the worker and act as an attendance register but gradually Pradhan started neglecting to enter attendance to job cards which results misleads payments despite doing a work.

 

  1. Wrong attendance in Muster:-With blank job cards Pradhan willingly marks his/her attendance. Due to which workers cannot claim for the fair remuneration job card which used to ensure their presences remain reasonless. Village Pradhan deliberately marks attendance of his favourites like family members and claim for wages.

 

  1. Link to Bank Account:-Earlier villagers can directly ask for the wages at end of the day but now labours keep on sprinting to BDO office asking to release their wages.

 

  1. Availability of banks:-Uttarakhand also suffers from the lack of availability of banking infrastructure still many of the villages do not have accessibility to banks and present one suffers from cash crunch which a challenging task.

 

  1. FTO (Fund Transfer Order) and Muster:-Most of the time corrupt chain of senior officials also precludes wages payments. FTO (Fund transfer order, headed by two official in Block who look after claims of MG wages) do not enter similar numbers of workers from muster to FTO register to augment their commission which further divided to various officials including Pradhan. The FTO deliberately transfer fund to those fake accounts form where they can earn a bounty.

 

  1. FTO to MIS:-To curb leakages from MG government initiated Management Information System (MIS). The computerised system which enumerates name and number of days of the worker from FTO register to MIS. MIS is further divided into state MIS and centre MIS. MIS is the main system of all the record maintained by the government to monitor payment system and to curb the leakages. But this system also had to face some loopholes and that come from wrong entry done by the FTO and Muster followed by the blank job card.

 

  1. Linking Aadhar to Bank Account:-Villagers already facing the challenge of bank accessibility and transportation any mutation done by the government is similar to adding new obstacle which impedes the payment of MG. Fewer linkages with banks and Aadhar’s hinder payments which delay wages further.

Source: Personal Interviews and Village visits.

Suggestions to Improve

  1. No Role of Ombudsman:-No proper evaluation of work many projects under MG are not completed. When village Gram Pradhan demands funds through BDO the answer remains unsatisfactory syphoning off wages by Gram Pradhan along with the BDOs is usual.

 

  1. Helping Desk/ Awareness Campaign:-Illiteracy is another problem little knowledge about MG scheme makes the situation more complex for villagers. Therefore government should initiate help desk through MG officials as done by the SBI to make villagers understand the importance of MG.

 

  1. Increase Banking Infrastructure:-Villagers have to travel more than 20 to 25 kilometres to avail the banking facility and most of the time banks do not have the proper amount of cash. The government can initiate facility of ATMs because it is less expensive than bank infrastructure.
  2. Redressal Cell:People who dare to complain against wrong by MG official his/her complain is not taken into Maintaining Redressal cell data will help policymakers to amend the leakages occurring in the MGNREGA scheme. It is not possible that workers do not have any grievance against MG scheme like it appears in MG redressal dairy.

Sources:http://mnregaweb4.nic.in/netnrega/citizen_html/citipoattend_repdist.aspx?level=DPC&sec=An&dc=3501.

 

  1. Asset Creation:-Many of the villages do not have basic infrastructures like hospitals, schools, Cold storage, Polly houses and animal husbandry MG should ensure that maximum amount of fund should be allotted towards the assets creation not towards same construction work MG should allow separate amount of budget for repair and maintenance and fresh fund should only be allotted to creation of new infrastructure.

 

One of the major problem faced by every village of Uttarakhand is a problem of a power supply this is because of centralisation of power grids. There are numerous amount of power generation plants on river Ganga but centralisation of electricity grid create a shortage of supply because a major amount of energy is lost in the transformation from the production unit to distribution grids. The MG work should be confusing on making every village self-sufficient form the problem of a power cut MG workers should employ in the construction of check dams and other water conservation project through which villages can have self-sustainability.

 

  1. MG and Agriculture:-The majority of villagers are proletariat and dependent on government rationing or their agriculture production. Therefore villager’s indulge in disguise employment there are numerous amounts of Agric and medical plants which only exist in Uttarakhand hills MG officials can hire people for production of medical plants or Agric production which will have lucrative results.

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                                                                  Conclusion

 

Both the blocks have different employment opportunity and accessibility to resources but among both Purola have more dependency towards MG scheme this is due to higher percentage of employment under MG than Bhatwari this implies that Bhatwari have more employment opportunities than Purola. Purola also have a higher amount of unemployment in the young population due to higher percentage involvement under MG work(age group 18-30). Therefore much of the fund’s allotments were used to curb disasters cracks with a subsequent amount of asset creation like Water-Conservation, Watershed management, Irrigation, Land-development, Road-connectivity. MGNREGA is able to increase a certain amount of income expenditure in rural hills of Uttarakhand but MG is still not used to its potential.

 

 

 

 

                                 References

  • Aggarwal, Ankita. “Fairness of Minimum Wages.” Economic & Political Weekly, NOVEMBER 4, 2017: 4.
  • B.G. Harisha,N. Nagaraj*b, M.G. Chandrakantha, P.S. Srikantha Murthya,. “Impacts and Implications of MGNREGA on Labour Supply and Income.” Agricultural Economics Research Review, 2011: 10.
  • Krushna Ranaware, Upasak Das, Ashwini Kulkarni, Sudha Narayanan. “MGNREGA Works and Their Impacts.” Economic & Political Weekly, MARCH 28, 2015: 9.
  • Mathew K Sebastian, P A Azeez. “MGNREGA and Biodiversity.” Economic and Political Weekly, march 8, 2014 .
  • Usha Rani Ahuja, Dushayant Tyagi*, Sonia Chauhan and Khyali Ram Chaudhary. “Impact of MGNREGA on Rural Employment and Migration.” Agricultural Economics Research Review, 2011: 08.
  • Paul Niehaus and Sandip Sukhtankar*. “Corruption Dynamics: The Golden Goose Effect†.” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, November 2013: 41.
  • http://nrega.nic.in/netnrega/writereaddata/Circulars/2058Notification_wage_rate_2017-2018.pdfMGNREGA wage rate of year 2017/2018 of various states of India.

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