Work Demand Under MGNREGA Drops Sharply In June, Shows Government Data

Swarajya Staff

Jul 03, 2024, 12:09 PM | Updated 12:14 PM IST

Daily wage workers. (Representative Image)
Daily wage workers. (Representative Image)

Work demand under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) declined at the sharpest rate in over a year in June.

Preliminary data from the Rural Development Ministry shows that approximately 34.25 million individuals sought work under the scheme in June, a 22.5 per cent decrease from the previous year. These individuals represented 26.42 million households, marking a 21.6 per cent drop compared to a year earlier.

The preliminary data is subject to revision as updated information becomes available.

This marks the eighth consecutive month of declining work demand under MGNREGA. In May, around 37.46 million individuals sought work under the scheme, a 12.1 per cent decrease from the previous year.

The Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is the flagship rural employment scheme under the MGNREGA and guarantees 100 days of work per household. It is demand-driven which means that employment is generated only when there is no alternative paying better wage.

Work demand typically decreases when better-paying job opportunities arise amid strong economic growth. The significant year-on-year drop in June reflects stronger economic activity and the impact of intense heat waves.

Additionally, plentiful monsoon showers in key states have also contributed to the lower work demand. Normal seasonal rains typically lead to large-scale migration of rural workers for crop sowing, reducing the need for unskilled jobs under MGNREGS. Although the country experienced an overall rainfall deficit of 11 per cent in June, southern states received abundant monsoon showers that likely spurred farm activities.

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