In contrast to Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) a “living monument” of the Congress’ failure to tackle poverty in the last 60 years in a Lok Sabha speech last year, the government hailed its success as a cause of “national pride and celebration”.
MGNREGA will complete a decade on Tuesday, with the NDA government apparently doing a re-think on the scheme on the back of deepening rural distress due to a growing agrarian crisis. The government in a statement ahead of a convention at Vigyan Bhavan Tuesday said the focus will be on simplifying and strengthening the procedures of the scheme and building sustainable assets to benefit the poor. The government added last year saw a “revival” of the scheme. The statement claimed “the personday generation is the highest in the second quarter (45.88 crore) and third quarter (46.10 crore) than it has been in the last five years”.
While finance minister Arun Jaitley will address the MGNREGS convention at Vigyan Bhavan on Tuesday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi would be at Bandlapalli village on the occasion.