Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

The Lie Of The Land

In MP’s Bundelkhand region, a sarpanch-babu nexus means NREGA benefits dry up for the poor

The Lie Of The Land Pavithra S. Rangan

The Paper Trail

How social sector cuts are playing out in one of India’s poorest parts

  • For the first time ever, in 2014, Rs 1,000 cr, of a sanctioned Rs 4,000 cr budget for NREGA, not given to MP
  • In 2015, only a small part of the budget released for two months. NREGA top officials say funds always given for at least six months.
  • Government records show an average of 68 days work per person per year; on the ground, many haven’t worked 50 days in five years
  • In nearly empty villages, after majority migrate for work, all NREGA work performed by machines
  • Wages found credited to accounts of government employees and even the dead. District officials refuse to part with data; say it’s been erased from their computers.