Under MGNREGS, April to June, 2017 has seen a significant demand for wage labour specially for water conservation works. Nearly 75 Crore person days of work has already been created and more is expected by 15th July, 2017. This means that nearly 80 lakhs to 1 crore workers are coming everyday for work in different parts of the country under MGNREGS. Over 86% of them are paid within 15 days. This is a remarkable improvement compared to earlier years. 99% payments are on the electronic Financial Management System (e-FMS). The Central Government has ensured timely release of funds and States have responded by strengthening the implementation machinery to provide timely payments.
The thrust on agriculture and allied activities, is showing at the field level with 74% expenditure on these works. 2,264 water stressed blocks have received special attention for Natural Resource Management, Water Harvesting and Water Conservation. 2.62 lakh water conservation works have been completed in the Current Financial Year including 1,31,789 Farm Ponds across the country. MGNREGS has created over 91 lakh hectares irrigation potential in the last 2 years which is currently being evaluated by the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), New Delhi. The report is expected by 30th September, 2017.
1.45 crore assets of MGNREGS have been geo-tagged so far and are in the public domain. 5.2 crore workers are already on the Aadhar-based Payment System (ABPS) and over 9 crore workers have seeded their Aadhar details with consent in NREGA Soft MIS. 87% job cards have been verified and 1.1 crore job cards have been deleted so far after giving reasons. There has been a registration of 89 lakh new job cards to ensure that deprived households get work.
24 States have set up independent Social Audit Units and 3100 State Resource Persons have been trained to conduct social audit as per auditing standards. Large scale training of Self-Help Group women as Village Resource Persons for social audit is being undertaken. 5,245 Bare Foot Technicians (BFT) have been trained so far in 19 States to provide technical support at field level. Stress has been laid on public information and Citizen Information Boards at all work sites is being ensured. Record maintenance has been simplified and over 90% Gram Panchayats have already adopted the simplified seven Registers.
Concerted efforts to move MGNREGS workers on the skilling ladder through placement-based wage employment under DDUGKY and self-employment with Bank linkage through Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes (RESTIs) have also been going on effectively across the States. Diversification of livelihoods through women Self-Help Groups is the core thrust of MGNREGS for sustainable economic well-being of the poor households.