Work generated under NREGS rises in September after 3-month fall – Blue Barrows

New Delhi: Work generated under the rural employment guarantee scheme bounced back in September after falling for three consecutive months, raising apprehensions over stability in the labour market.

As per data from the website of the rural development ministry, 14.2 million households got work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme in September, a 3.6% increase from August. The person days of work generated at 175.7 million were 5.08% higher than the previous month.

The number of households that got work under the scheme was 18.6 million in April, 26.1 million in May, 27.5 million in June, 17.6 million in July and 13.7 million in August. The person days of work were 285.8 million in April and 435.1 million in May, before falling for three straight months to 421.8 million in June, 235.2 million in July and 167.2 million in August.

The latest numbers suggest a possible softness in the labour market from the previous month, which led labourers to opt for work under the employment guarantee programme.

A senior government official told ET that the Centre could provide an additional allocation to the Mgnrega after discussions on revised estimates for the budget, as demand for work under the scheme is picking up again and continues to remain much above the pre-Covid level.

“We have already spent over 70% of the allocated budget under the scheme in seven months and expect the work generation under the scheme to surpass initial estimates,” the official said. The Mgnrega is a demand-driven scheme and the government is committed to make funds available for it, the official added.

The government has so far released ₹52,833.21 crore, which is 72.4% of the ₹73,000 crore allocated for the current fiscal year.