Rural employment scheme to be evaluated district-wise: PM
New Delhi, June 21 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called for independent professional evaluation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) programme and its impact on employment generation, rural wages, gender disparity, agricultural productivity and rural infrastructure development.
Taking a review meeting yesterday, the Prime Minister urged State Governments that were lagging behind in the implementation of the programme to learn from the experience of the States that were actively implementing the programme.
Dr Singh also called for the preparation of district-wise District Employment Report, giving information on NREGA, to be presented on Labour Day on May 1, 2008, the PMO said today.
Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh apprised the Prime Minister of the successful implementation of the programme in 330 districts.
It was reported that so far over 2.1 crore persons had been provided employment under NREGA. This included 1.2 crore SC and ST and 0.8 crore women.
Under NREGA employment generation has been linked to rural asset creation and infrastructure development. The majority of the works undertaken related to water conservation, water harvesting, flood control, irrigation and renovation of traditional water bodies, and construction of rural roads.
The review noted that as a result of introduction of NREGA there is a decline in distress migration, improvement in land productivity, increased awareness among rural poor regarding minimum wages. There has also been an increase in wage earnings as well as improvement in participation of women in the rural work force.
It was also noted that wage earners have been able to open a savings bank account, take up insurance and improve literacy.