Cut in MGNREGS outlay is not a concern: Somanathan

Source: The post is based on the article “Cut in MGNREGS outlay is not a concern: Somanathan” published in The Hindu on 3rd February 2023.

What is the News?

In the Union Budget 2023-24, the Union Government has reduced the allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MGNREGS).

What is the MGNREGA allocation in the Budget 2022-23?

The Finance Minister has allocated Rs 60,000 crore for the scheme, lower than the budgetary estimate of Rs 73,000 crore for 2022-23. 

This is 18% below the current year’s Budget Estimates and almost 33% lower than the Revised Estimates of ₹89,000 crore.

What is the government’s response to the reduction in MGNREGA allocation?

Firstly, government sources have pointed out that expenditure on MGNREGA is need-based, and can always be increased if such a requirement is felt. The Budget allocation, thus, does not mean no more money can be spent on the rural employment scheme.

– However, activists and worker unions claim that by cutting down Budget allocation, the government sends out a notice that it wants to spend less on MGNREGA and hence fewer initiatives are undertaken under the scheme.

Secondly, there have been major increases in allocations this year in the PM Awas Yojana (Grameen) and Jal Jeevan Mission.

– The amount spent on these schemes would obviously have some effect on demand for MGNREGA work as they would be for the same type of people with the similar types of jobs

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