Mgnrega work generation rebounds 19.4% in November

Work generation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme shot up last month, after touching year’s low in October, due to fall in demand for workers in the agriculture sector and sudden drop in labour activity in urban India after the end of festive season.

Data from the Mgnrega website showed that work generation under the scheme went up by 19.4% in November to 194 million persondays compared to 162.4 million in October, while the households benefiting from the scheme last month was up 14.9% at 15.4 million as against 13.4 million in October.

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The November data is the fifth highest in the fiscal year so far. The persondays work generated under the scheme stood at 285.8 million in April, 435.1 million in May, 421.7 million in June, 235.2 million in July, 167 million in August and 179.4 million in September. The households that got work under the scheme in the current fiscal stood at 18.6 million in April, 26.2 million in May, 27.5 million in June, 17.5 million in July, 13.7 million in August and 14.3 million in September.

Year-on-year there has been a decline in work demand and subsequent work generation under the scheme since the outbreak of the pandemic but the dependence on the scheme continues to be much higher now compared to the pre-Covid level.
Persondays work generated under the scheme stood at 228.6 million in 2021-22, 235.7 million in 2020-21 and 169.2 million in 2019-20, the last being the pre-pandemic period.

Even the number of households that benefited from the scheme stood at 17.5 million in 2021-22, 18.4 million in 2020-21 and 12.4 million in 2019-20 (pre-pandemic year).

Labour economist KR Shyam Sundar said the spurt in Mgnrega demand and work generation in November is on the back of dip in farm activities and not enough non-farm jobs available in rural areas.

“Since the demand for workers has gone down across agriculture and construction sectors, there is a greater dependence on Mgnrega for livelihood,” he added.

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