qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasReport on impact of MGNREGA onemployment, migration and incomepatterns of indigenous tribes of GujaratBy Shivendra Sharma (M.A Eco), roll. No. 363
CertificateThis is to certify that the project report entitled Report on impact ofMGNREGA on employment, migration and income patterns ofindigenous tribes of GujaratSubmitted byShivendra SharmaOf M.A Economics, roll number 363Is the bonafide work carried out by the ward under the supervisionof Dr. Pradeep Apte and Dr. (Mrs.) S.L Matkar is approved for thefulfilment of the requirements of the University of Pune, Pune forthe Master of Economics.This project is the original work of the ward and has not been copiedfrom any report. The references are duly acknowledged and thesame has not been submitted for any other purpose.Prof. S. L. Matkar,Head of Department,Department Of Economics,Fergusson College, Pune
AbstractA plethora of well planned schemes and programmes, meant togenerate gainful employment have existed ever since India becameindependent 67 years ago. Advanced eradication of unemploymentthat has been plaguing the country ever since started as late as1970s with passing of schemes like the Maharashtra employment Actpassed in 1979 and some minor programmes initiated by the centralgovernment. The employment Act of Maharashtra was revolutionarybecause it included ‘right to work’ and gave a legal recognition to thetargeted people. Years passed and the government launched evenmore ambitious programmes and schemes like Indira Gandhi Ruraldevelopment Programme (IRDP) and National Rural EmploymentProgramme (NREP) that aimed high on eradicating the chronicunemployment.However, related studies and researches showed a total failure ofthese programmes. IDRP and NREP that were a union of variousprogrammes holding similar objectives were failing in showingresults due to poor implementation and loopholes (details which canbe seen further in part I of the project). Most of the statistical studiespointed to a more-than-expected poor performance.In view of this, the UPA government passed the MGNREGA in 2005that was revolutionary in its own sense; that its provisions were suchthat implementation had to be better than the previousprogrammes. It’s like forcing certain compulsions upon the officialsor they’ll be answerable to law. Though NREGA proved to be muchefficient, its validity upon delivering what it intended had to beobserved from a close angle. This project tries to observe some ofthe basic criteria that an employment generating scheme has toachieve through some simple regression applications.
The project is divided into three parts; part I deals with a history ofemployment in India and the steps the government has taken toeradicate unemployment in India. Part II explains in detail theprovisions of NREGA and how it distinguishes itself from the rest ofthe programmes and Acts. Part III includes some econometricapplications that are necessary to observe the real effects the Acthas had on selected random samples.
IntroductionThe MGNREGA that stands for Mahatma Gandhi National RuralEmployment Guarantee Act was passed in the year 2005 by the UPAgovernment. India is a major developing economy that suffers fromchronic unemployment and disguised employment that arecharacteristic of any third world developing economy. In suchcircumstances, the central and state governments have in the last 40years passed laws and initiated programmes that were meant toeradicate unemployment once and for all.Although these programmes like IRDP and NREP were very ambitiousand well intentioned, studies done by researchers and policy makerspointed out to a failed system of implementation where objectiveswere being totally ignored and instead only personal gains werebeing considered. Thus, the vicious nexus of the local village leadersat panchayat levels and the more powerful officials and politiciansformed that led to widespread corruption, scandals andimplementation loopholes that only led to more failures. Thepercolation effect on the targeted populations was found to bealmost zero.Consequently, these programmes were reviewed by differentcommittees and policy experts to look into the reason why theyfailed and their replacements by more efficient laws. Thus, theNREGA came into existence in the year 2005 as a direct result of theheavy criticisms these programmes faced. It was quickly spread tothe whole of India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir and sincethen has received a lot of positive feedback, perhaps the onlyemployment generating law that has received positive views fromthe general public, the beneficiaries and researchers. As we shall seeit in detail, the NREGA has well planned provisions that allow
accountability, transparency and a sense of justice to be served tothe poor people. Meant to generate employment, it was also meantto generate a sense of purpose. However, like every other law isimperfect, NREGA too might have certain loopholes. As we will see inpart III where some econometric applications have been done to testthe results, NREGA has had success in uplifting the tribal workers,but only at subsistent levels. Incomes have increased but at levelsthat are still debated. Whether the jobs these labourers do in urbanareas are more paying due to higher wages they include or is itbetter to be a NREGA beneficiary? Though there is certain thinkingamong individuals that NREGA has had success in changing themigration pattern, our results pointed out to a more or less the samemigration pattern. As far as employment opportunities areconcerned, NREGA definitely delivers higher in that the provisions ofNREGA are humble and take care of the labourer’s financial situationas also cater to the needs of labourer families.Objectives of the studyFollowing are the objectives of the present study: To look into the quality of implementation of NREGA in theselected districts. To comment on the income and migration patterns that are thecentral theme of this project and how NREGA has affectedthese two through simple econometric applications. To conclude the study with a comparison of the districts and tocomment whether NREGA differs in terms of implementation.
Sources of dataFollowing sources of data were referred during formulating thestudy:1. The Indian economy (latest edition) by Dutt & Sundaram.2. The economic survey, government of India (2011-12).3. Secondary data provided by the Labour Ministry, governmentof India.4. Secondary data provided by Forest department, government ofGujarat.5. Primary data collected through individual initiative.HypothesisOur null hypothesis H0 states that NREGA has had a significantimpact on incomes, migration and employment patterns of theselected tribal sample of Gujarat.Alternatively, the hypothesis that NREGA has had no impact on theabove mentioned criteria is to be treated as alternative hypothesis,H1.
Table of contentsPart I – Indian economy and employment generation ____ 1Employment in India – an introduction________________________________________ 2Employment policies prior NREGA ______________________________________________ 5Employment Guarantee scheme of Maharashtra________________________________________6National Rural Employment Programme ________________________________________________8The Rural Landless Employment Guarantee Scheme____________________________________9The Integrated Rural Development Programme ______________________________________ 10Jawahar Rozgar Yojana_________________________________________________________________ 13Concluding Remarks ____________________________________________________________________ 15Part II - The NREGA and methods for assessing theimpacts __________________________________________________________17Introduction to NREGA ___________________________________________________________18Provisions of schedule I _________________________________________________________________ 20Provisions of schedule II_________________________________________________________________ 21Differentiating features of NREGA______________________________________________________ 23Assessing impact of an Act_______________________________________________________24Methodology for assessing impact______________________________________________________ 26Gujarat – history, economy and NREGA _______________________________________28History of Gujarat _______________________________________________________________________ 29The modern day Gujarat ________________________________________________________________ 30Economy and NREGA in Gujarat________________________________________________________ 30Part III – Assessing and comparing the impact____________33Assessing NREGA in Sabarkantha district ____________________________________34Assessing impact on incomes ___________________________________________________________ 35Assessing migration patterns ___________________________________________________________ 45Assessing impact – Baroda district ____________________________________________48Assessing impact on incomes ___________________________________________________________ 49Assessing impact on migration _________________________________________________________ 60Conclusion ______________________________________________________63
2Employment in India – an introductionEmployment is necessary for man. It provides the basic livelihood forsurvival and living, with the resources that are needed to shelterfrom life’s uncertainties. In prehistoric times human beingsemployed themselves in hunting and small scale farming andgathering to stock resources for survival. These resources were thenused by everyone to consume.Since earliest settlements that were established some 5000 yearsago when Neolithic man carved out stone tools as has been recentlyexcavated in some ancient districts of Tamil Nadu, what is observedis agriculture as the main employing force. More advancedtechniques of agriculture cultivation are then witnessed in ancientsettlements of Ropar and Kalibangan- small towns that were part ofthe famous Indus valley civilisation. Evidences of extensive rice andmaize cultivation have been found with one barley field still verymuch intact at Kalibangan, a small Harappan settlement in Rajasthan.The Vedic era that followed too was characterised by extensiveagriculture. Early semi-nomadic Vedic people grew wheat andproduced milk products, a legacy still followed in Northern India andbeyond in much of the Central Asian nations. Every major regimethat had its territories on the subcontinent relied on agriculturists forrevenues and taxes. Be it the Mauryas, the Gupta kingdom, Kingdomof Sakas, the Satavahanas, Mughal Empire or the British, every majorpower in India earned revenues only through agricultural produce.As agricultural produce and revenues in olden times seemed to bedirectly linked to employment, in the modern age employment has adirect link to various macroeconomic indicators that distinguish acountry’s standings- Indicators like per capita income and variousGDP ratios that are so crucial for any economy for its growthprospects. Any economy that provides gainful employment to itspeople is characterised by higher per capita incomes as also higherGDP ratios. When incomes increase, poverty levels go down and so
3do other negative indicators like mortality and illiteracy. Employmentalso links to socio-economic human development. Betteremployment opportunities bring in an industrious, competitiveenvironment among the people and a cycle of positive growthinitiates that lead to long term development. Highly developednations like the U.K, U.S, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Australiahave very highly evolved employment mechanisms. Such countriesare characterised by highly productive occupations in all the threesectors. Hence, providing the best possible employment to thepeople is a must for any country to look towards growth.Specifically, employment in India has always been the primarysector, and it still is. Nearly 65% of the population in modern India isstill working on farms to earn a livelihood. Farmers of variousfinancial strata could be found, from the richest, affluent farmerswho own acres of land to the most marginalised, poor farmer whohave literally no stake in earning a dignified income.To make things more clear, referring to government documentsproves to be helpful. Official sources suggest an upward trend inemployment in more productive services; the secondary and tertiarysectors. But the overwhelming population growth rates have provedanother challenge to Indian planners to first clear the burden ofbacklog employment and provide new opportunities to Indian youth.NSS data shows rise in student population from 20.5 per cent in1993-94 to24.3 per cent in 2004-05 and further to 26.6 per cent in2009-10 thus suggesting an increase in demand for productive jobs.Though employment rates have been modest in recent years, morestill needs to be done to employ the backlog. Further, the economicsurvey suggests different rates of employment for Current dailyStatus (CDS) when compared with the usual principal subsidiarystatus (UPSS) method. For example, for the period 2004-05 to 2009-10, significantly higher growth rates are observed (1.11 per cent)than compared with UPSS terms. Similarly, the rates of
4unemployment increased at a slow pace on UPSS basis and atrelatively higher paces at CDS basis.Source: Economic survey, 2012-13.The figure above shows some unemployment rates over periods1993-94 to 2009-10. Unemployment increased from 6.0 per cent in1993-94 to 8.2 per cent in 2004-05 but again decreased further to6.6 per cent in 2009-10. The fall in unemployment despite marginalincrease in employment figures could be due to increasing youngpopulation that opts or better education rather than going in thelabour market. This is reflected by the rise in growth in enrolment ofstudents in higher education from 49.25 lakh in 1990-91 to 169.75lakh in 2010-11. More figures suggest a rise in employment in theorganized sector, public and private combined, has increased by 1.0percent in 2011, as against 1.9 per cent in 2010 as the table belowshows.1.9 2.2 2.3 2126.96.36.199246810121993-94 1999-2000 2004-05 2009-10PercentUnemployment over the yearsCDSUPSS
5Overall employment figuresSector Employment (in lakhs) ason 31 marchPercentage change2010/2009Percentage change2011/20102009 2010 2011Public 177.95 178.62 175.48 0.4 -1.8Private 103.77 106.46 114.52 4.5 5.6Total 281.72 287.08 289.99 1.9 10Thus, an overview can be summarised as India experiences upwardand downward trends in employment. What is clearly observable isan upward trend in employment after 2000-01 as more liberalisedpolicies are adopted and the observable growth of the tertiarysector. For a more in depth explanation, we need to dwell more intobrief history of planning in India, specifically towards the approach ofemployment generation over the last 6 decades as we see in the nextchapter.Employment policies prior NREGAWitnessing poverty and uneducation as linked to underemployment,the Government of India has been actively passing legislations andActs to reduce this chronic obstacle as it has always been a concernboth to the government, the general public and as mentionedbefore, poses a major obstacle to the economic development of anation. The government started serious poverty and unemploymenteradication programmes after the Bhagwati committee report in1973. Some initial steps were taken by the government as mentionunder:
61. The Rural works programme. Under this programme,constructions of civil works were taken up to temporarilyalleviate unemployment, if not a permanent step by thegovernment, it might have reduced unemployment figureswhile providing shelter for the poor.2. Marginal farmers and agricultural labourers Programme. Underthis scheme, secondary jobs like dairy, poultry farming fishery,horticulture operations, etc were provided to those who werecategorised under ‘disguised unemployed’. It meant a shiftfrom primary, crop cultivation to more yielding farming jobs.3. Area development scheme. These schemes related to thedevelopment of certain infrastructural facilities. It meant toprovide employment and also to boost infrastructure.4. Agro-service centres. These were service centres established bythe government to provide guidance and incentives to theunemployed/under-employed youth who were diploma holdersin mechanical, agriculture and electrical engineering and alliedfields as well as graduates in agriculture machinery, repairingand hiring facilities, etc.5. Crash programme for rural employment. This scheme’s primaryobjective was to provide works or assets of durable nature, tobe of benefit to the poor strata as also to provide employmentto 100 people in each block for a working season of 10 months.Various works included irrigation facilities, flood protection, soilconservation and a-forestation and land reclamation.Employment guarantee scheme of MaharashtraThe Maharashtra government in 1972-73 introduced its ownemployment guarantee scheme (EGS) to give recognition to the‘right to work’ enshrined in our constitution. It was the first of its
7kind in the country. It embodied a commitment by the stategovernment to provide work to a person who comes forward to offerlabour.Some of its main objectives were: Provide productive employment to labourers in approved ruralworks which raise productivity of the economy. Work undertaken should produce durable assets for the nation. Works to be implemented departmentally without any privatecontracts. This was intended to check undue/illegal/low wagepayment by the contractors. Instead, 60% of the worksexpenditure was done through wages to works while 40% inthe form of materials, food and other supplies.The scheme was strictly limited to the rural areas and the weakersections of rural society who were involved in unskilled labour andwas adhered to benefit the adult population i.e. people above theage of 18 years.A review of the scheme reveals its success in the first 10 years whenthe expenditure incurred on wage payment and implementation ofvarious works increased from Rs. 1.89 crores in 1972-73 to Rs. 102.2crores in 1980-81. However, post 1983, man days declined whileexpenditure increased to Rs. 130 crores in 1982-83. As against anexpenditure of Rs. 5.3 per man-day in 1972-73, it increased to Rs.10.2 per man day in 1982-83.According to the 8thplan, “there has been a significant reduction ofunemployment and poverty in the state. Estimates tell a reduction ofunemployment in the state from 7.16% in 1977-78 to 3.17% in 187-88. Besides, it has resulted in the reduction of poverty from 60.4% in
81977-78 to 36.7% in 187-88. The EGS has also resulted in morewomen being employed, with nearly 60% of the rural women gettingemployment.”The scheme was a success in most parts of the state with Prof.Dandekar acknowledging the Act’s approach towards givingorganized employment with government funding and the labourer’s‘Right to Work’ being recognised by the Act. Notwithstanding suchpositivity, it still had loopholes and offered wages at subsistencelevels only. In addition, studies revealed the Act failed to reducepoverty levels with Maharashtra still scoring higher than the nationalaverage of poverty levels.National Rural Employment ProgrammeThe NREP was launched on October of 1980. The programme wasimplemented with a 50% central funding. An estimated 300-400million man-days were to be generated each year for theunemployed and underemployed. Besides, the NREP aimed to createproductive assets like schools and balwadis, rural roads, communityirrigation wells and community centres.The programme generated some 1,477 man-days as against theobjective of 1500-2000 man-days with a total expenditure of Rs.2,940 crores, spent in 1985-86 and 1988-89. In other words, theobjective of reaching the targeted man-days was not achieveddespite considerable pumping of funds by the government.Though well rounded it may seem, the programme suffered frompoor implementation, poor monitoring, non-coordination ofauthorities in identifying unemployed/underemployed families,failure to secure minimum wages and stereo-type construction of
9famine-era works like kachcha roads, reminiscent of the old pre-independence days. On the basis conducted by the Indian Institute ofPublic Administration, “the employment provided by NREP is for avery short duration and cannot make a permanent impact. Inaddition, the wages offered are lower than the market rates.Selection of beneficiaries is improper with the poorest of the poorbeing left out in the process. Secondly, there is a tendency to go infor heavy building materials which is contrary to the objectives givenout by NREP. The programme is meant to use local resources foremployment generation and building and not small assets as couldprove to be useful in the long run.”The Rural Landless Employment Guarantee SchemeThis scheme was launched on the 15thof August, 1983 with 100%funding from the central government. Its objectives were to createproductive assets in rural areas and generate gainful employmentand improve the overall quality of rural life.Resources were allocated to states and Union Territories with certaincriteria decided by the government with 50% weight given tonumber of agricultural labourers, marginal farmers and workers and50% to incidence of poverty. Wages were paid according to theminimum Wages Act. Part of the wages was to be paid in the form ofsubsidized food grains. The programme included many projects ofsocial forestry, Million Wells scheme and the like. The scheme waslater on merged with the NREP (National Rural EmploymentProgramme) on the premise that both had similar objectives. Thoughnot much can be apprised of the programme, the progress during the7thplan revealed employment generation of the tune of 1,154 millionman-days.
10A major criticism of the programme, like the ones before it, was poorimplementation and the failure to significantly reduce poverty levelsin rural areas. The matter lied in improving the efficiency of theprogramme rather than indulging in administrative reorganizationsas said by reformists and policy pundits. In this case, the programmefailed due to corruption, non-payment of wages an ineffectiveredress system and poor implementation in the most poor areas thatwere targeted.The Integrated Rural Development ProgrammeThe Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) was launchedduring the sixth plan (1980-85). It was an admixture of differentemployment generating schemes and Programmes, interlinked andsimilar in their objectives. These programmes included the SmallFarmers Development Agency (SFDA), Marginal Farmers andAgricultural Labourers (MFAL), Command Area DevelopmentProgramme (CADP), Desert Development Programme (DDP). Thebasic fundamental for launching IRDP was to “eliminate themultiplicity of programmes and to merge them into one identity”called the Integrated Rural Development Programme.The philosophy behind IRDP was the failure in some third worldcountries to alleviate poverty and unemployment while theirGDP/capita increased. This means that the gap between the havesand have-nots increased in these countries with the rich becomingricher and the poor becoming poorer. India, which is no exception,has seen a polarised development, a flaw pointed out by manyeconomists during the time when IRDP was launched. The strategywas to promote self-employment of labourers through creatingproductive rural assets so they could cross the poverty line. This was
11to be done through IRDP. The NREP was to provide wageemployment during sporadic or seasonal unemployment. It alsointended to provide absorptive employment capacities in rural areasthrough non-agricultural activities. This also meant creation ofinfrastructure, benefitting the economy as a whole.The programme had massive targets to achieve. Initially, some 5000blocks over 52 districts were selected, with 600 BPL families. Thismeant a figure of 15 million BPL families; with 75 million personsliving below the subsistence levels. For each block, Rs. 35 lakhs wereto be shared between the centre and the states on a 50-50 basis.Subsidies were to be offered to small farmers (22.5%), marginalworkers (33.3%) and to tribal beneficiaries (50%) on the foremostprinciple that the scheme had to reach the poorest families first.The programme assisted a total of 108 lakh families, 50% beingunder the category of SC/ST which was a target achieved. However,the target of covering 40% women was uncovered at 34%. Sufferingfrom weaknesses like ineligible selection of beneficiaries, impropertraining to unskilled labour and no significant increment in incomes,the programme worked till April, 1999, after which it wasrestructured to Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) whichaimed at self employment of rural poor. Under SGSY, thegovernment decided to introduce the Family Credit Plan, wheremore than one member of the poor household could be givenmultiple assets. The idea was to speed up the families’ crossing ofthe poverty line. Level of investment increased to Rs.20, 000 to Rs.25, 000 per family for more assets to family membersA brief critical assessment of IRDP shows the programme did notpercolate its effects on the poor households. There were
12misclassifications of the 16.5 million beneficiaries as poor. Thirdly, avery important loophole of IRDP was its non-percolation effect,mainly due to two reasonsa) Misuse of loans floated by government.b) Leakage in loans and subsidies thus nullifying the effects.NABARD in one of its surveys pointed out the unusually high rate ofinterest when borrowing the assets provided by IRDP. Theprogramme provided mostly dairy and agricultural assets like milkanimals, sheep, bullocks and bullock carts, camels and camel cartsfor loans given off to beneficiaries. Though the rate of interest wasfixed at 12% for bank loans, the effective rate was 30%-35% due toexistence of transport costs, costs of time, middlemen demandingminor bribes and out-of-pocket expenses thus nullifying the overallsubsidy amount. Furthermore, the giving away of milk animals wasnot a very wise step as food fodder for these animals was notguaranteed. Their prices also varied according to seasonal variationsin their demand.Another big critic of IRDP was the improper selection ofbeneficiaries. NABARD in one its surveys pointed out that althoughIRDP’s main objective is to select and implement on the poorestfamilies, its inclination in reality has always been towards small andmarginal farmers. In some districts, as much as 30% of thebeneficiary families were small farmers with the poorest unskilledlabourers, farmers and tribes being totally left out. This is because ofthe ease by which small farmers have access to credit and thepreference of block officials extending credit to these people.Another major flaw was widespread corruption in theimplementation process. Sarpanchs and influential members of
13village communities with collaboration with bureaucrats and officersused to charge commissions and brokerage to poor villagers for themto avail subsidies and assets. Lastly, the myth that the programmewas successful in targeting poor families and pushing them above thepoverty line was uncovered by many economists like Nilkanth Rathwho concluded that not more than 18.7% of the targeted familiescrossed the poverty lin. In fact, the figure of 18.7% could also betreated as an over-estimate. The initial figures suggested 47%families crossing the poverty line of Rs. 3, 500. But these were basedon old prices. If current prices (1979-80) were to be considered, itwas found only 18.7% families crossing the poverty line. ProfessorRath believed that the poor were more interested in incomes ratherpetty assets like cows and camels which had no yields. IRDP had nosuch long-term provisions for poor families to increase theirproductivity and skills. It is unrealistic to believe the borrowing ofloans and credit for small assets could result in increased incomes ofthe poor which in turn were assisted by widespread corruption andmalpractices by the implementers.Jawahar Rozgar YojanaThe Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY) was launched in April, 1989 by thethen Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The NREP and RLEGP were mergedinto one entity called the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana. It was similar toIntegrated Rural Development Programme with similar objectivesand implementation procedures. Main objectives were to providegainful employment for the rural poor so as to cross the poverty lineand secondary objectives which included forming up of sustainedassets for continuing benefits, subsequently increase the wage levelsand to bring an overall improvement in rural life.
14The JRY targeted people below the poverty line. Preference wasgiven to SC/STs and bonded, unskilled labourers. At least 30% of theemployment was to be provided to women. The first stream of JRYundertook some of the following works: Social forestry works on government and community lands,plantations on road sides and gardens Soil and water conservation works. Village and its community water wells, canals and assets. Community sanitary latrines. Construction of rural roads. Panchayat ghars, Mahila Mandals, dispensaries, schools andclinics.A total of 10.0 lakh wells were constructed with an expenditure of Rs4, 021 crores by 1996-97. Additional 1 lakh wells were constructedduring 1997-98.Under the second stream of JRY, the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) waslaunched as a sub-scheme of JRY. It aimed at providing houses tobonded labourers and SC/STs free of cost. The government had afixed expenditure of Rs. 14, 000 and was enhanced to Rs. 20, 000 perhouse in view of the rise in the cost of building materials. A total of67.5 lakh houses were constructed with a total expenditure of Rs. 11,324 crores.Under the third stream of JRY, the Employment Assurance Scheme(EAS) was launched from 2ndOctober, 1993. Special and innovativeprojects were launched which aimed at women’s employment,special programmes through voluntary organizations. Besides, the
15operation blackboard was undertaken to construct schools in ruralareas.Concluding remarksAlthough the programmes and schemes launched by the governmenthad been well intended and well planned on paper, on field therethey suffered from poor implementation, corruption, non-percolation effects, unaware public of such programmes and hotreap benefits from them, insensitivity of officials towardsdeliverance, false statistical studies leading to Faux pas which in turnworsened implementation, an excessively centralized bureaucraticsystem where the officials were least concerned of the performanceof these programmes, and many other reasons. That crores of rupeeshave been spent on such programmes, a disappointing truth thatwas visible in the last sixty five years of independence that theseprogrammes have had little to no effects on long term employmentgeneration. Though they were meant for generating ‘gainfulemployment’, only short term, temporary employment wasgenerated.India had been suffering from chronic unemployment since theBritish days, what was needed was self-sustenance of rural andremote areas that could provide a long term employment for thelocals and lead to a more long lasting income generation andlivelihood. The programmes failed in this aspect. Further, the assetscreated by these schemes can only be judged by their productivity orthe share they contribute towards national income. Much of these‘assets’ were small or medium entities like tube wells, kaccha roads,small house for the rural poor, community centres, etc that remain in
16neglect. Thus, a proper scrutiny only points out to a plethora of failedprogrammes.In the next part, we will observe some of the characteristics of theNational Rural Employment Guarantee Act passed in 2005. How itdiffers from the previous programmes and hot it tries to change livesof the poor that could not be achieved through previousprogrammes, will be dealt with in the same part. A brief profile ofthe state of Gujarat was necessary to explain for NREGA’s workingdiffers from state-to-state due to historical, demographic, economicand various other factors.In part III, some econometric analysis will be undertaken to look intothe performance details of how NREGA has truly worked and how itcan differ from one district to another leading us to finalcomparisons and conclusions for NREGA. Though such research isnot meant to undertake government reporting, some futuremeasures to improve the efficiency of the Act and how it can standdistinguished has not been done due to reasons already stated.
17Part IIThe NREGA and methods for assessing itsimpact
18Introduction to NREGAThe National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA governmentin 2004 had specifically pledged to provide a National EmploymentGuarantee Act that could provide gainful employment to any adultindividual of a family for a legal 100 days of labour on asset creatingpublic works at a minimum wage. The Mahatma Gandhi NationalRural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was subsequentlypassed in the year 2005. Extending to the whole of India exceptJammu & Kashmir, it was initially launched in some 200 districts ofphase 1. Some of the main features of NREGA: Every household willing to get voluntary employment will getthe right to work for 100 days of guaranteed employment for atleast one adult member. The employment will be in the form ofcasual manual labour at statutory minimum wage and the wageshall be paid within 7 days of work completion. Work should be provided with 15 days of demand and within 5kilometres of residence. The state or the central government will hold the responsibilityof securing gainful employment for every adult member of thehousehold under a scheme for any period beyond the periodguaranteed. The state government will fix the wage rates in accordance tothe Minimum Wages Act, 1948. It will be the responsibility ofthe state government to specify the different wage rates ofdifferent areas/districts. If employment is not provided within the limits/allowance, thenan employment allowance will be given daily which will be 1/3rdof the exiting wage rate.
19 In case of hazards encountered or any injury, the governmentwill give hospitalization charges and a daily allowance of notless than ½ of the existing wage rate. In case of death of aworker during work, an ex gratia payment shall be made to hislegal heirs. An unemployment allowance to be provided within 15 days ifthe worker’s demand of giving employment is not met. The district collector will be responsible for the overall workingof the Act in the district. The Gram Sabha will be monitoring the work through grampanchayat by way of social auditing. Proper accounts and books of labourers and their wages to bemaintained by every state government. Transparency andaccountability to be maintained by the state governments. Wages are to be paid directly to the beneficiaries. This is toensure that no middlemen siphon out the funds. The Act will be fully amendable by the Central government. Allfeedback will be transparent and the government will be opento all feedback and critic on the grounds that no such activitywill be politically or institutionally targeted.The NREGA is divided into two schedules. Schedule I deals withminimum features of the employment scheme while schedule IIdeals with minimum entitlements provided to labourers by the Act.We shall discuss these schedules in brief as they are form an integralpart of the provisions provided by the Act.
20Provisions of Schedule I (Minimum Features of a RuralEmployment Guarantee Scheme):This schedule explains the nature of assets, the provisions related towage payment and the legal compulsions to the governmentregarding payment of wages, maintenance of accounts, preparingthe list of area specific works, periodical inspection of works andproviding any feed back to local officials. Some of the features ofschedule I have been listed in brief:1.Following works to be the main focus of the scheme:a. Water conservation and harvesting;b. Drought proofing including afforestation and treeplantation;c. Micro and major irrigation canals;d. Land development assets;e. Irrigated land to SC/ST families and families alreadyunder the ambit of Indira Awaas Yojana;f. Rural connectivity which includes roads and pavedpathways;2. Creation of durable assets for the rural poor as specified bythe state and central government.3. There should be a state council to prepare district/talukaspecific works based on the degree of durable assets to bemade there.4. Wage paid to the labourers should not be less than specifiedby the state government, under no circumstances.5. The wages are to be fixed by each state government inconsultation with the state council for different types ofworks every year. Same pertains when wages are accordingto the quantity of work done.
216. Proper maintenance of the public assets to be a responsibilityof state governments and thus appropriate arrangementshave to be made by the state governments for propermonitoring of these assets.7. Cost of projects/works undertaken in addition with the wagesof unskilled and semi-skilled labourers shall not exceed 40%of the total project costs.8. No contractors shall be allowed to participate in the projectwork under the Act.9. Adequate provisions for ensuring transparency at all levels ofimplementation to exist within the framework. Suchresponsibility would be shared both by central and stategovernments.10. The district programme coordinator shall develop an annualreport of the status of the implementation of the scheme inhis district, the works undertaken, wages offered to thelabour according to projects, containing any achievements,facts and figures of the scheme. This report shall also bemade public on demand at a legal fee as specified in thescheme.Provisions of Schedule II (Conditions for Guaranteed RuralEmployment and minimum Entitlements of Labourers)This schedule contains conditions for the Act to be efficient onimplementation and the entitlements to labourers that form are alegal compulsion to the state and central governments. Below is a listof some of the features of schedule II:1. Any adult member of a household who’s willing to dovoluntary manual work shall submit his/her application to the
22nearest Gram Panchayat office in the jurisdiction in whichhe/she resides.2. The Gram Panchayat shall register the household aftermaking enquiry as it deems fit and issue a job card to theregistered.3. The registered person can request to the number of days ofmanual work and every member of the household shall beentitled to do the manual work wherever applied.4. Applications for work will be at least for 14 days and thereshall be no time limit as to the number of hours/days for theapplicant to do any work subject to the aggregateentitlement of the household.5. As far as possible, the work provided should be in the radiusof 5 kilometres from the village where the beneficiaryresides. In case the work is more than 5 kilometres, it shouldbe within the block and extra wages of 10% should be paid tolabourers as transportation and miscellaneous costs.6. The Programme Coordinator of the block shall explain inwriting to the District Programme Coordinator of whyemployment has not been provided in some blocks and theremedial measures undertaken to provide any missingemployment to the labourers. The list of persons providedwith work shall be listed with their addresses and sent to theProgramme Officer.7. If a person working under the scheme is injured, or isrequired hospitalisation, the government shall arrange forsuch accommodations as necessary. If encountered withdeath, the government shall make an ex gratia payment atthe rate of Rs. 25,000 or any such amount as deem fit by the
23Central government. The legal heirs of the deceased shall bepaid the amount.8. Various other facilities like safe drinking water, medicalhealth boxes, and shades for cover shall be provided at thework site.9. The wages shall be paid in the form of cash or direct cash. Aportion of the wages can be paid to labourers on daily basis.10. No discrimination on the grounds of gender, religion orcaste/creed shall be made while giving out any employmentand the provisions of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 willbe complied with.Differentiating features of NREGAThe differentiating features of NREGA are its main feature thatdistinguishes it from older programs released during the 1980s. TheAct was passed by the Union government in 2005 largely due to thecriticisms and failures faced by IRDP and NREP. Though well plannedon paper with well intentions, they failed in showing long termeffects, reasons being many, like scams & poor implementation.The NREGA has also been well designed, with full legal provisions forlabourers and their families. The main differentiating feature ofNREGA that separates it from the rest is the inclusion of the ‘right towork’ that seems to be similar to the Employment Scheme ofMaharashtra of the 1970s. The right to work means that thebeneficiary under the Act has the legal right to do any manual workwith its details recorded and open for public scrutiny, get legally paidthat is prescribed by the central government according to the workundertaken and claim the accorded payment whenever the personfeels it has been siphoned off, has not been paid in due time or any
24other reason of non-payment. This was a significant step towardswelfare because the ambitious schemes of the 1980s and 70s had nosuch legal framework that provided for the labourers to claim theirpayment. The result was rampant corruption and siphoning off ofwages.The idea was that such ‘legal wages’ would be the step towardsincreasing the livelihood of the labourers who were exploited orcheated by officials through siphoning, less payments forcommissions. All such obstacles zeroed out all the well intentions. Incontrast, a beneficiary under NREGA can go to the courts whereofficials will have to answer to any of felt their wrong doings.Further, the wages are directly transferred to beneficiaries’ bankaccounts, thus leading to other positive effects like increase insavings and number of bank accounts, secure money in labourer’shands and banking awareness.Having looked into the detail provisions of NREGA, we will nowproceed on how an Act’s impact can be assessed.Assessing impact of an ActMeasuring an Act’s impact can become a difficult task taking intoconsideration its entire ambit. A lot of parameters and clichés are tobe taken into account for a proper statistical study to take place. Forexample, an Act meant to improve the housing conditions of thepoor will have parameters like the quality of houses they live in,number of rooms in each house, basic facilities, and availability ofelectricity and water that have to be compared with similarparameters of previous accommodations. If the new housesprovided by the Act show an improvement of living conditions, thenthe law could be regarded as a success.
25But this is only a very arbitrary example. A history of Indian economicplanning shows all our programmes were well planned on paper butsuffered heavily on implementation, feedback, grievance andmiscellaneous aspects. For example, though IRDP and NREP wereambitious programmes meant to provide ‘gainful’ employment tothe poor every year, statistical studies found employment wasprovided on a large scale but with no benefits due to various reasonsalready stated above like siphoning off and non-payment of wages,lack of good legal framework and poor resource allocations. Thus,the whole intention of the programmes failed, most of the objectiveswere not met and the planners were forced to withdraw thembecause of their direct relation to increasing deficits on the budget.To be more specific, to research the impact of an employmentgenerating Act, one has to scrutinise the following aspects: The overall change in the levels of livelihood of the targetedpopulation. Whether it has resulted in changes in incomes, savings, andexpenditures, miscellaneous benefits like new assets, newlands for cultivation, new housing facilities, and new electricalappliances like TV sets, radios and computers. Whether the Act has resulted in providing long term objectiveslike better education, better food products, socio-politicalawareness and awareness of rights. What kind of employment (long-term or short-term) has theAct generated on the targeted population? Has it stopped thelong journeys and migrations to other cities that people makein search of jobs or has it remained the same throughout? Employment generation means creation of such assets thatprove fruitful to the economy and to the local population.
26 A successful Act ultimately results in increased per capitaincomes in the long term.Methodology for assessing an impactVarious methods could be used to asses and impact. Generally donethrough surveys and questionnaires, some specific area is firstselected where a significant targeted population exists. For surveyingNREGA as an example, such blocks of districts should be selectedwhere significant SC/ST/OBC populations exist as NREGA speciallytargets these groups. Then comes the surveying where the surveyordoes a basic research by first formulating certain assumptions oftargeted sample, forms a suitable questionnaire for collectinginformation and then conducts the survey through the questionnaireor any other method the researcher sees fit.Aspects like living conditions, incomes, primary & secondaryoccupations, basic food consumption are some parameters thesurveyor is always interested in while conducting a survey. Theobjective of the survey should be to collect suitable information so asto ascertain any changes made by the Act. Caution has to beconsidered while surveying as false information is bound to happen.Hence, Crosschecking becomes an important part of the studywherever untrue information exists.Finally, a comparative study is performed where a selected group ofparameters are compared. Hence for example, if income level of anindividual is to be compared whose been employed under NREP, wecould do that by first stating a general hypothesis pertaining to anydue changes in income levels, comparing those values andconcluding the results. The results have to be unbiased and in suchmatters where an Act, law or a government entity is being
27researched, political neutrality has to be maintained or theresearch’s objective is not achieved. The aim of the researcher is tothrow light on the results and not state any criticism.Taking such views into account, how can one proceed to assess whatNREGA has had on the lives of poor labourers? NREGA is a nationallevel employment generating Act, meant to provide gainfulemployment. Though the Act might seem similar to previousprogrammes to a lay man, it differs in aspects that are distinguishing,so much so that it has resulted in the Act’s idea being mentioned inseveral territories outside India. Thus, as NREGA is as big as it seems,a proper study for national level will require a vast amount ofpersonnel to bring about a huge research. However, formulating alocal research doesn’t require much of resources to releasecomparatively smaller results that could prove helpful not only toprivate individuals but sometimes also to government authorities inproviding a feedback. Policies are passed not only as a result ofcensus scaled research but also due to research provided by privateindividuals.To assess NREGA in our selected districts, it is imperative to firstthrow light on the profile of the state of Gujarat. Its history, itstraditions and demography, and economy have to be explained firstfor the research to continue. Every region has its own traditions andhistory; such factors determine the working of a national Act. Hence,an employment generating Act will benefit greatly in a region wheresignificant unemployment exists in contrast to a region whereemployment figures indicate good going. In such regions an Act likeNREGA would perhaps become more of a burden due to financialhogging it requires from the state and central government. Keeping
28such assumptions to be true, we now proceed to understandingwhat Gujarat has to offer in terms of employment generation.Gujarat – history, economy and NREGAThe Gujarat state is a West Indian province. It was formed on the 1stof May, 1960 by carving out 17 northern districts of the erstwhileBombay state. Located on the Western coast, it has the longestcoastline of 1, 600 kilometres and bounded by the Arabian Sea to thewest and south west and by Pakistan and Rajasthan in the north,Maharashtra in the South & Madhya Pradesh in the east.The Capital of Gujarat is the city of Gandhinagar established a brieftime after Gujarat’s independence on the lines of Union TerritoryChandigarh, close to the historical city of Ahmadabad, which alsohappens to be the financial capital and the most populous city ofGujarat (7.20 million). The state has currently 26 districts, 226 taluka,18,618 villages and 242 towns.
29History of GujaratThe state took its name from Gujjars, an ethnic Indo-Aryan peoplewho ruled the area during the 700’s and 800’s and inhabited tillAfghanistan. Though exact origins remain vague, they might havebeen direct descendants of Scythian or the Sakas during the Huninvasions. There are also ancient structures like Lothal whichbelonged to the Harappa civilization. The state was ruled by majorIndian empires and was an active trading hub since Harappan times.The Scythian tribes who later came to Gujarat were the result ofMauryan disintegration when the Shungas were unsuccessful inmaintaining political unity. There was also a Greek incursion intoGujarat led by Demetrius. The greatest extent of Gujarat reachedduring the rule of Solankis who were believed to have been directdescendants of imperial Gujjars. The last Hindu rulers were from theSolanki clan of Rajputs. Karandev of Vaghela dynasty, the last Rajputruler was eventually overthrown by superior forces of Allauddin Khiljiin 1297. Prolonged Muslim rules of 400 years, Muslim invasions ofMahmud Gazni were major historical incidents. Gujarat remained anindependent province under Muslim sultanates until 1576 whenAkbar took control over the province with a successful expedition.The province remained under the Mughals till the late 1600s whenthere were Maratha incursions under Shivaji. Surat was ransacked byhim. In the later years during declining days of Mughals, Marathaclans like the Gaekwad rulers took control of the southern territoriesof the state and made Baroda their capital, announcing theirindependence.
30Gujarat has always a prosperous province, bringing in lot of revenuesto all the regimes that ruled it. It was the trading hub during Mughalsand also during colonial rule. The cotton of Gujarat was famous theworld over. The Dutch, French, English and Portuguese merchantshad all established trading centres to trade Indian valuables soprestigious in those times. When the British consolidated supremacyover other European powers, Gujarat was their major trading port.Most of the raw materials, merchandise and machines made withIndian hands were traded from ports in Gujarat. The Calico mills inAhmadabad are a testament to the finesse achieved by Indianartisans in selling clothes that were renowned the world over.The modern day GujaratAfter India gained independence in 1947, a conference took place in1948 to merge all the Gujarati speaking areas of Gujarat, Kutch andSaurashtra into one autonomous province. The term ‘Mahagujarat’was thus coined to unite the whole of Gujarati speaking areas.Eventually, on 1stMay 1960, the erstwhile Bombay state was splitinto two, Maharashtra and Gujarat. For the first time after thesultanate, Gujarat became independent.Ever since, the state has had 16 chief ministers. In 1995, after majorlosses to the BJP government, congress stepped down and KeshubhaiPatel came to power. After losing 2 seats in the by-elections in 2001,Keshubhai resigned and gave way to Narendra Modi who has eversince been the chief minister.The economy and NREGA in GujaratGujarat is, like most other states of India, predominantly agriculturalthough highly industrialised. The state is ranked the second most
31economically free state after Tamil Nadu, according to the report byCato institute on state economic freedom. Major agriculturalproduce of Gujarat includes groundnut, milk and milk products,sugarcane and cotton. Ahmadabad, Surat, Baroda and Jamnagar aremajor industrial cities with Surat as being ranked one of the fastestgrowing cities in the world after Chengdu in China. The ship breakingyard in Alang is the world’s largest. With some staggering indicatorslike India’s longest gas line grid (2,200 km), 98.86% of villageconnectivity through all weather roads and 98% of highways beingasphalt surfaced, Gujarat is indeed an industrial trading hub. Nearly100% of Gujarat’s 18,000 villages have 24-hour power connectivity.The state also records the highest agricultural decadal growth rate of10.97%. The GSWAN (Gujarat State Wide Area Network) is thelargest ISP in Asia Pacific region and 2ndlargest in the worldconnecting 225 taluka through 12, 000 nodes. Noted as the growthengine of India, the infrastructure of Gujarat is well known to rivalthat of Guangdong, the economic engine of china, according to TheEconomist.As for NREGA is concerned, there cannot be a pinpoint conclusion asto the degree of quality of implementation in the state. However,some official statistical figures could throw some light on this. Forexample, according to NREGA state brief report, the total centralshare was Rs. 894.86 Crores in 2010-11, and Rs. 324.29 Crores wasreleased in 2011-12, a reduction. Likewise, in 2011-12, 570 lakhperson days of employment generation was projected with anachievement of 311.21 person days. In addition, a total of 38, 16,745households were issued job cards in 2011-12 against a projected 8,68,748 households. Of these households that were provided cards,only 2, 16,796 households got employment. Against the projected 3,
3202, 71,524 persondays projected, a total of 2, 16, 59,433 persondayswas generated. Considering such staggering achievements however,only 33, 391 households completed 100 days of guaranteed work,less than the figure of 41, 442 in the period 2010-11. That is less thanhalf of the people who got employment and even lesser the numberof people who were issued job cards. This means that certainamount of wastage of government funds in issuing job cards whenthere is no availability of work or rather incomplete work provided.Gujarat also reports a comparatively lower wage rates compared toother states. For example, in the year 2010-11, the average NREGAwage was Rs. 65 as compared to Rs. 100 offered in Haryana, UttarPradesh, Punjab and Rs. 120 in Kerala. It stands on level to states likeMaharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and North Eastern states wherecomparatively low wages prevail.Considering such figures not to be falsifying to the layman, one canroughly conclude the average implementation of NREGA in the state.Reasons could be many, though Gujarat has an efficient bureaucracy,the government is not centrist. It’s a normal phenomenon thatschemes face obstacles when the ruling party in the state differsfrom the one in New Delhi.Concluding part I, we will now proceed to the next session. In part II,we analyze the impact of NREGA in two tribal districts and test theAct’s success in bringing about considerable changes. We thencompare the results of the two districts and check which oneperforms better. This is to be done to observe any kind of irregularityin the implementation process in the districts. Lastly, the conclusionregarding the overall experience of NREGA will be undertaken.
33Part IIIAssessing and comparing NREGA’s impact
34Assessing NREGA in Sabarkantha districtThe northern district of Sabarkantha,located 73.39° East longitude and 23.03°North latitude, derives its name fromSabarmati River that separates thedistrict from the neighbouring districts.The district is bordered with Rajasthanstate in the north, Banaskantha andMehsana district in the west andGandhinagar, Kheda and Panchmahaldistrict in the south. Himmatnagar is thedistrict headquarters. Average rainfallremains low at 500-1000 mm and hightemperatures with maximum being40.5° C and lowest being 9.09°C. It has apopulation of 2,082,531, mostly SC/STsand OBCs and less density with 282persons per sq. kilometre. A moderate 67.31% of literacy exists.The district is heavily dependent on agriculture and Dairy Farming. Itis the highest producer of Cereals, Indian jujube and Pomegranate inthe state. Minerals like bauxite and clay are abundant thus openingup industries of cement, clay, silica and tiles. Major food crops, oilseeds, fruits are produced on the district which include wheat,castor, mango and groundnut, tobacco, mango and pomegranate.The district consist of some major industries like Sabar Dairy whichsupplies milk products in the district, Eureka tiles, Gujarat AmbujaExports Ltd., Pathik Agrotech Ltd., etc. Some 8, 000 small scaleindustries employing some 34, 200 people are located here. Walls,
35floor tiles, chemicals, plastic and plastic products, commercial officeand household equipments are some major small scale industries.The region has rich agriculture and fertile land. Major sections ofsociety depend on agriculture for livelihood. The district has verygood rail & road infrastructure with 24 railway stations whichconnects the state cities and neighbouring state of Rajasthan.Assessing impact on incomesJust like we did an analyticalstudy of Baroda district for theTaluka of Chhota Udaipur, weshall observe and analyse thetrends in Sabarkantha district.The Sabarkantha district ischaracterised by tribes thatinhabit large parts of southern Rajasthan and neighbouring districtsin the west. These are mostly Bhil tribes, dominant being Garasias,Damors, Modias, kolis and Dhodias among others. They are rural,mostly poor but a lot of them could be found in higher occupationsof government. Some from these tribes get recruited as doctors andgovernment servants through the state public service commissionand hence distinguish themselves from the southern tribes ofGujarat in literacy. To analyze some observations, let us look at somedata.
36Table 1Yearly incomes (records 1-15)Table 1 shows yearly incomes of records 1-15 for villagesGambhirpur, Abhapur and Bandhana. Here, the tribes of Modias andGarasias exist. We observe a fairly equal wage rates for all recordsand also more or less equal incomes earned, unlike in Baroda districtwhere income disparity exists. The average incomes of this districtare:0 2,71,440/15 .14,400x Rs Record no. NREGAwage (Rs.)YearlyNREGAincome(Rs.)Yearly incomewithout NREGA(Rs.)X0YearlyIncome withNREGA (Rs.)X11 Rs. 110.00 Rs. 39,600.00 Rs. 43,200.00 Rs. 82,8002 Rs. 120.00 Rs. 43,200.00 Rs. 72,000.00 Rs. 1,15,2003 Rs. 115.00 Rs. 41,400.00 Rs. 64,800.00 Rs. 1,06,2004 Rs. 117.00 Rs. 42,120.00 Rs. 52,200.00 Rs. 94,3205 Rs. 105.00 Rs. 37,800.00 Rs. 46,800.00 Rs. 84,6006 Rs. 100.00 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs. 59,400.00 Rs. 95,4007 Rs. 100.00 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs. 61,200.00 Rs. 97,2008 Rs. 134.00 Rs. 24,120.00 Rs. 32,400.00 Rs. 56,5209 Rs. 140.00 Rs. 16,800.00 Rs. 39,600.00 Rs. 56,40010 Rs. 135.00 Rs. 9,720.00 Rs .23,400.00 Rs. 33,12011 Rs. 134.00 Rs. 12,864.00 Rs. 54,000.00 Rs. 66,86412 Rs. 132.00 Rs. 31,680.00 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs. 67,68013 Rs. 75.00 Rs. 1,125.00 Rs. 39,600.00 Rs. 40,72514 Rs. 65.00 Rs. 1,300.00 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs. 37,30015 Rs. 100.00 Rs. 1,000.00 Rs. 50,400.00 Rs. 51,400Total Rs. 1682.00 Rs.374,729.00Rs. 216,000.00 Rs.885,731.00
371 5,71,500/15 59,048x This means that there is a notable increase of income of about 4.10times of yearly income excluding NREGA. Plotting the data, we getthe following curves:The above figure shows the yearly incomes of the sample excludingthe income earned through NREGA. It is a fairly consistent curve withincomes ranging from a minimum of Rs. 10, 000 to Rs. 26, 000 thuspointing out to the poverty levels that exist. All the samples were BPLfamilies.When we observe yearly income when NREGA is added, we get thefollowing curve:0500010000150002000025000300001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15yearlyincome(Rs.)Record no.Figure 1yearly incomes including NREGA
38What we observe here is increase in incomes, minimum being at therange of Rs. 22, 000 to a maximum of Rs. 71, 000. Income disparitiesdo exist between the samples even after NREGA has been added. Wecompare the two different incomes through the following curves:010000200003000040000500006000070000800001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15Yearly incomes excluding NREGA0200004000060000800001000001200001400001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15Sum of Yearly income2 (without NREGA)Sum of Yearly income1 (NREGA+secondary+primary)
39The above curve shows total yearly incomes of the sample. Thisincludes NREGA, secondary and income earned by minor agricultureproduce and labour. What do we observe here? Some of the familiesearned more, pointing out to the level of disparities that exist. This isbecause villagers of one village benefitted greatly from NREGA whileothers did not. In analysing 3 villages of the Taluka, 2 of thembenefitted because of regular work being provided and regularpayment of wages. Furthermore, 10 samples of 2 villages wereengaged in farm labour which does not come under NREGA whileone village was solely dependent on a small plantation nurserywhere 5 people were surveyed. These villagers of Abhapur village didnot engage in any other work or business.Though from the above figure one can ascertain major increase inincomes, we will have to test whether NREGA has had a significantimpact on the incomes of the select sample. For this, we use somestatistical and econometric techniques. We provide data throughstatistics while assessing the impact is done through regressionwhich is an econometric method.Let us now proceed to assessing the real impact of incomes.Table 2Data showing yearly with NREGA and secondary wage incomeRecord No. Yearly NREGAincome (Rs.)X1Yearly secondarywage income (Rs.)X2Total yearly income(Rs.)Y (dependent)1 Rs. 39,600.00 Rs. 43,200.00 Rs.82,8002 Rs. 43,200.00 Rs. 39,600.00 Rs.1,15,2003 Rs. 41,400.00 Rs. 64,800.00 Rs.1,06,2004 Rs. 42,120.00 Rs. 52,200.00 Rs.94,3205 Rs. 37,800.00 Rs. 46,800.00 Rs.84,6006 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs. 59,400.00 Rs.95,4007 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs. 61,200.00 Rs.97,200
408 Rs. 24,120.00 Rs. 32,400.00 Rs.56,5209 Rs. 16,800.00 Rs. 39,600.00 Rs.56,40010 Rs. 9,720.00 Rs. 23,400.00 Rs.33,12011 Rs. 12,864.00 Rs. 54,000.00 Rs.66,86412 Rs. 31,680.00 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs.67,68013 Rs. 1,125.00 Rs. 43,200.00 Rs.40,72514 Rs. 1,300.00 Rs. 39,600.00 Rs.37,30015 Rs. 1,000.00 Rs. 64,800.00 Rs.51,400Total Rs. 374,729.00 Rs. 700,200.00 Rs. 885,731.00The above table shows data regarding the total yearly incomesearned which includes NREGA and secondary or other incomes, totalyearly NREGA income earned and total yearly secondary incomesearned. To test at what degree the two incomes impact the totalyearly incomes, we will run some regression analysis on thedependent variable, in this case the total yearly income.HypothesisH0: the total NREGA and secondary income significantly impact thetotal yearly income, i.e. 1 2, 0 H1: the total NREGA and secondary income do not significantlyimpact the total yearly income, i.e. 1 2, 0
41CalculationsWhen we run regression for the above known data for total yearlyincome on NREGA and secondary income, we get the followingregression line:The above figure shows relationship between the actual knownincomes of NREGA and secondary incomes with that of the knownyearly income in the form of scatter plot matrix. A scatter plot matrixexplains variables neatly in matrix form. We get these results inmathematical form:Yearly income vs. NREGA & secondary income scatter plotmatrix
421 2221 21 2ˆ 6827.03 1.22 0.770.9160.902. ( ) 0.14, . ( ) 0.30( ) 8.30, ( ) 3.736yRRs e s et t The results show that for any known independent variables 1 and 2, the wage income increases the total yearly income by Rs. 1.22 whilethe secondary wage income increases the total yearly income by Rs.0.77 only. This means that NREGA is more significant in contributingto total yearly income than any secondary job. Further, the R2valueis 0.91 which means that NREGA and secondary jobs alonecontribute to some 93% of total yearly income earned by the samplepopulation. This means the predominance of daily wage jobs in thedistrict. The tribal people do not engage much in agriculture and selfsufficiency. The standard errors of both the variables are very small,0.14 and 0.30 which indicates adherence to BLUE properties.Most importantly, the t-value for NREGA wage income 1( ) comes outto be 0.30 which is much less than the critical t-value of 2.160 thusaccepting H0 for the results say that NREGA alone significantlyimpacts total yearly income more than secondary jobs which has a t-value of 0.37.When the yearly income alone is regressed with NREGA income, weget the following results:
43As can be clearly seen, NREGA alone significantly impacts the yearlyincomes of the sample populations. With a R2value of 0.81, we canvery readily conclude the explanation of yearly incomes by NREGAincome to be 81%.The results can be summarized in the following mathematical form:12ˆ 3595 1.450.81y uR Yearly vs. NREGA income
441211ˆ 3595 1.450.81. ( ) .189( ) 7.685y uRs et At 13 degrees of freedom, the t-value comes out to be 7.685 which ismore than the critical t-value of 2.160 thus accepting the hypothesisand concluding that NREGA does significantly impact the total yearlyincome.We shall now proceed to analyzing the impact secondary wageincome has on the yearly incomes. First, to reproduce themathematical curve:We may summarize the above curve in the following mathematicalequations:30000 40000 50000 600004e+046e+048e+041e+05Secondary incomeYearlyincomeYearly vs. Secondary income
45 2222ˆ 5069 1.480.433.18. 0.48y uRts e With a R2value of 0.43, means 43% of the yearly income data isexplained by the secondary wage income. This means that althoughsecondary wages do contribute to the yearly incomes, it is lesserthan NREGA income which explained 91% of the results. Thestandard error is small (0.48) which indicates BLUE properties.Further, the calculated t-value is 3.18, more than the t-critical valueof 2.160 at 14 degrees of freedom which points out to thesignificance secondary wage has on the yearly incomes. Assessing migration patternsThe Sabarkantha district is predominantly tribal. Mostly engaged inagriculture and labour, they keep migrating to far off urban areas insearch of gainful employment where they work for temporary timeperiods and return to home villages where they engage in agricultureand self sufficiency. When the season is not right for cultivation, theymigrate.However, not all tribal communities are migratory. Like we shallobserve, the people in this district are least migratory, mostlyengaging in local farm labour whenever NREGA is unavailable. Incontrast, other areas like the southern districts of Dangs and Baroda,tribes are in continuous migration for temporary periods. Reasonslike better living conditions in their home villages, comfortable dailywage jobs in local areas can effect migration. In the southerndistricts, where the terrain is somewhat hilly with dense jungles, it is
46hard to find jobs in local farms, due to which the tribes of South aremore susceptible to seasonal migrations.Table 3Data showing migration pattern (records 1-15)Record no. Migration Place Value (Y) NREGA income(X)1 No NA 0Rs. 39,600.002 No NA 0Rs. 43,200.003 No NA 0Rs. 41,400.004 No NA 0Rs. 42,120.005 No NA 0Rs. 37,800.006 No NA 0Rs. 36,000.007 No NA 0Rs. 36,000.008 No NA 0Rs. 24,120.009 No NA 0Rs. 16,800.0010 No NA 0Rs. 9,720.0011 No NA 0Rs. 12,864.0012 No NA 0Rs. 31,680.0013 No NA 0Rs. 1,125.0014 No NA 0Rs. 1,300.0015 No NA 0Rs. 1,000.00The above table shows the migration pattern of the 15 samples,relating to their NREGA income. Unfortunately, no properrelationship could be established between NREGA and migrationvalues (0 for ‘No’, 1 for ‘yes’) due to some calculation errors.
47Nevertheless, it can be clearly seen that there does not seem to beany relationship between the income earned through NREGA and themigration pattern observed. All the samples had not migrated to anyother district, urban area, or outside state looking for work. Whenasked why, their responses were towards satisfaction for whatNREGA has to offer, resulting in decreased migrations.One of the main reasons for absence of migrations in this area is dueto the regularity and implementation of the Act observed. Wages areconsistent & uniform, paid in timely manner by the authorities andregular availability of projects that has led to discarding the usualdaily wage jobs available in cities which results in exploitation andextra costs of health and transport.The other reason could be education. Education leads to betterawareness of the individual’s rights and obligations. Tribal people inSabarkantha are quite well educated when compared to some otherbackward tribes of Gujarat. This is the reason why many individualsfrom the northern districts have recruited in government and privateservices, some of them being members of state legislature andarmed forces. With better education, tribal people also have theweapon to go to the courts wherever they feel any misconduct orinfringement of their rights. While such factors were not surveyed,they could have been one reason why regularity of wages isobserved as compared to districts of lower education.In the next part, we analyze what impact NREGA has had on incomesand migration patterns in Baroda district where tribes havesomewhat different habits of occupation and migration. The tribe wesurveyed was the Rathwa tribe, a scheduled dominant tribe of theregion around Chhota Udaipur, the eastern part of Baroda that
48borders the state of Madhya Pradesh. As we shall observe, NREGA inBaroda hasn’t had such major impacts on incomes though there is apattern of migration observed.We shall now proceed to some calculations for Baroda district.
49Assessing NREGA in Baroda districtThe Baroda district, also called‘Vadodara’ (meaning ‘SanskarNagiri’ in Sanskrit), located 72.51 to74.17 East longitude and 21.49 to22.49 North latitudes is thesouthern district of Gujarat, sharingborders with the state of MadhyaPradesh in the east. It is aprogressive district with the city ofBaroda; on the banks of riverVishwamitri, is the biggest city andthe district headquarters as, it is thesecond populous city afterAhmadabad. The city has richhistory and is famous for its palaces,parks, temples and museums. Thedistrict has 12 taluka, 15 towns and 1,518 villages. Population of 3.64million, it is moderately populated with 482 persons/sq. km and asex ratio of 919 females per 1000 males. It has an impressive literacyrate at 70.76%.The district is distinguished for its major industries in chemicals andfertilizers, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, glass, tobacco, fisheriesand dairy. Some big PSUs like Gujarat Alkalis and Chemicals Ltd(GACL) and Gujarat State Fertilizer & Chemicals Ltd (GSFC) arelocated here. Major crop production includes Rice, wheat, Sorghum,yellow peas, Grams, oilseeds, groundnut, cotton and sugarcane. It is
50also a major fruit producing district with contribution of 11.25% ofthe state’s fruit coming from Baroda. There are over 18,000registered SSIs (Small Scale Industries), maximum being in therepairing and servicing industry (5, 713) units. Other key small scaleindustries include textiles, metal works, chemicals, rubber productsand food products. Assessing impact on incomesWe shall now proceed with measuring incomes of the labourpopulation. The Baroda district has significant tribal population withRathwas as a major Scheduled Tribe. These rural tribes live in remotevillages in the eastern side of the district, around Chhota Udaipurwhich is an underdeveloped if we compare to the western areas,around Baroda city. Just like all other tribes in India, they live a rurallife. The research was conducted in Kevdi and Dhodisamal villages ofChhota Udaipur district.Let us first observe some basic data before going further intoscrutinising the results.Note: The Baroda district comprises of records 16-31.
52Thus, on an average scale, incomes without NREGA were Rs. 44, 425while incomes with NREGA came out to be Rs. 53, 382.18 which isequivalent 1.20 times of incomes without NREGA.We get the following figures when the above data is plotted:The above figure shows the yearly incomes of the sample excludingNREGA i.e. the income earned in skilled labour and farm yields addedtogether. This can be hypothetically seen as average earnings whenan Act like NREGA was not implemented. Record numbers have beenshown on the x-axis while Incomes have been shown on the y-axis.The bold blue line connects the corresponding data points. Let usproceed to incomes of the same sample when NREGA is added andcompare the two.02000040000600008000010000012000014000016 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31Yearly incomes excluding NREGA
53Above figure shows a modified version of the preceding graph whenyearly income was analyzed with addition of the total NREGA incomeearned. We clearly observe an increase in incomes. If NREGA neverexisted, the maximum a labourer could earn is Rs. 90,000 while forNREGA an addition of Rs. 10,000 makes it quite noticeable for anylayman.We will now compare the yearly incomes with and without NREGAand attempt to calculate the differences between the two. This is tobe done to test if NREGA has had major impacts on the incomes afterits implementation in seven years or does it remain the same. Firstoff, an overall increase in the incomes can be shown through a simplegraphical device.02000040000600008000010000012000014000016000016 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31Yearly incomes including NREGATotal
54The above figure shows a comparative aspect of the yearly incomeswith and without NREGA. Barring a few observations of Record 18and 22, what we roughly observe is a slight increase in yearlyincomes of the sample by certain points. Here too, there is disparityobserved. For example, records 22, 24, 26 and 29 show majorincrease in their incomes when NREGA was added. Though an overallimprovement is witnessed, we still need to test whether there hasbeen a significant impact or not. For this, we first need to establish arelationship between increase in yearly incomes due to NREGA andsecondary wage income. This means the dependency of yearlyincome on yearly wage income under NREGA and secondaryoccupations the workers have performed. Such calculations have tobe done through regression where the cause and effect relationshipis established between the dependent variable (in this case the totalyearly income) and the independent variables (NREGA and secondaryincomes in our research). When the relationship is established, we02000040000600008000010000012000014000016000016 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31Total Yearly incomesSum of Yearly income1 (NREGA+secondary+primary)Sum of Yearly income2 (without NREGA)
55test how significant the dependency is through testing of a statedhypothesis. When the stated hypothesis comes out to be true, weaccept the notion that there is significance in the analysis. Thus, wenow move on to stating the hypothesis.HypothesisH0: NREGA and secondary incomes have had a significant impact ontotal yearly incomes i.e. 1 2, 0 H1: NREGA and secondary income do not significantly impact totalyearly incomes i.e. 1 2, 0 Table 8Total Yearly income vs. NREGA + secondary incomesRecord No. Yearly NREGAincome (Rs.)X1Yearly Secondarywage income (Rs.)X2Total yearlyincome (Rs.)Y (dependentvariable)16 Rs. 14,880.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 1,04,520.0017 Rs. - Rs. - Rs. 65,250.0018 Rs. 840.00 Rs. 33,000.00 Rs. 33,840.0019 Rs. 620.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 65,870.0020 Rs. - Rs. - Rs. 18,000.0021 Rs. 1,240.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 56,160.0022 Rs. 6,000.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 49,500.0023 Rs. 36,000.00 Rs. - Rs. 81,000.0024 Rs. 44,640.00 Rs. - Rs. 95,640.0025 Rs. 2,000.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 83,000.0026 Rs. 28,800.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 1,14,300.00
5627 Rs. 2,480.00 Rs. 90,000.00 Rs. 1,13,480.0028 Rs. 7,800.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 62,400.0029 Rs. 2,480.00 Rs. 45,000.00 Rs. 65,480.0030 Rs. 2,480.00 Rs. 60,000.00 Rs. 93,980.0031 Rs. 18,600.00 Rs. 30,000.00 Rs. 56,100.00Totals Rs. 152,520.00 Rs. 360,000.00 Rs. 858,523.00A rough assessment the influence NREGA and secondary incomeshave on the total yearly incomes of the sample population could bemade out through table 8. In Gujarat, the indigenous tribes do skilledand unskilled jobs for a daily wage. This is usually in seasons whennot enough work is available in villages resulting in long migrations tourban areas where daily wages are earned. As we shall observe,there is a significant contribution of NREGA to the yearly incomes.In establishing a relationship we first need to state those variablesthat are dependent and those that are independent. The yearlyincome in this case is the dependent variable (Y) while NREGA (X1)and secondary incomes (X2) are independent variables. As we haveto test at what significance these two incomes have on the yearlyincome, so is the relationship of dependency on independents. Thedependent variable is normally denoted by a capital ‘Y’ while theindependents are denoted as ‘X’. When multiple variables areinvolved, we use subscripts to separate them.Running regression on the data given in table 8 for 16 observationsof Baroda district, spread in villages of Kevdi and Dhodisamal, we gotthese results.
57(0.1)1 21 21 222ˆ 20108 1.601 1.285( ) 0.363, ( ) 0.223( ) 4.410, ( ) 5.760.7280.686y use set tRR Where, ˆy is the estimated value or the equation of prediction for thetotal yearly incomes; ˆu is the error term, 1 and 2 the estimatedcoefficients for the independent variables. The R2value denotes the‘goodness of fit’ of the trend line with the data points. R2in this caseis 0.68 which denotes 68% of the yearly income data explained bythe wage income data comprising NREGA and secondary incomes.It’s a pure case of multi-collinear relation of 3 variables. A curve willexplain these mathematical equations in graphical form as shownbelow
58The relationship is quite clear from the above scatter plot matrix. Astraight linear trend line is observed with an R2value of 0.728,matching exactly to the calculated equation. The conclusion throughthe stand error and the t-values is also quite clear. A low standarderror denotes the existence of BLUE properties of estimators 1 and2 . The t-value comes out to be 4.410 for NREGA and 5.76 for thesecondary income. This clearly points out to the conclusion that bothNREGA and secondary wages significantly impact the yearly incomesand that more than half of the yearly income depends on these twovariables.Total.NREGA.income0 20000 600000100003000002000060000Total.Sec..income0 10000 30000 40000 80000 1200004000080000120000Yearly.income1..NREGA.secondary.primary.
59Having established and testing this relationship, we will now test atwhat level does NREGA and secondary wages impact the yearlyincomes when they are both separated and tested individually. Thismeans a simple linear regression to be run. Let us proceed to statingthe hypothesis.HypothesisH0: NREGA alone significantly impacts yearly incomes of the samplei.e. 1 0 H1: NREGA doesn’t significantly impact yearly incomes i.e.1 0 This hypothesis has to be tested mathematically through regressionas shown below.Note: Refer table 2 for the above figure.40000 60000 80000 100000 120000010000200003000040000NREGA incomeYearlyincome
60Figure 10 shows the relationship between NREGA and observed totalincomes. Representing the regression line in mathematical form, weget these results:1211ˆ 8370 0.374.033. ( ) 0.533( ) 0.701y uRs et What do we observe from the above data? The R2value comes outto be 0.033 which means that only 3% of the yearly income is totallyexplained by NREGA wage income. This means that the rest of 97%of yearly income comes from other sources of income.The t-statistic [ 1( )t ] comes out to be 0.701 which is the calculatedvalue. For 14 degrees of freedom, 2.715calt is the critical regionvalue. The value 0.701 lies within the normal probability curvebetween -2.715 and +2.715, ( 2.715 2.715)calt thus accepting thenull hypothesis H0 that NREGA individually does not heavily impactthe yearly incomes of the sample population.Next, we shall observe the impact secondary jobs have on thesample yearly income.HypothesisH0: Secondary income does not play a significant impact on the yearlyincomes of the sample i.e. 2 ~ 0 .H1: NREGA plays a significant impact on the yearly incomes i.e. 2 0 Drawing mathematical curve to calculate the above hypothesis, weget the following results:
61Note: Refer table 2 for above figure.The mathematical formulations for the above curve are:2222ˆ 5971 0.0780.32( ) 2.574. ( ) 0.275y uRts e What can we make out from the above formulations? The R2comesout to be 0.32 which means that 32% of the yearly income can bepredicted through secondary income. The standard error of theindependent coefficient 1 is 0.275 which is a good indicator of alinear, unbiased estimator. The t value of the coefficient is 2.574which lies within the critical region of -2.715 and +2.715, thus40000 60000 80000 100000 120000020000400006000080000Secondary incomeYearlyincome
62accepting H0 that secondary incomes on an individual scale do notsignificantly impact the yearly incomes.Assessing migration patternsThe tribal communities of Chhota Udaipur district have always beenengaging into migration for ends to meet. Since the beginning, thesecommunities migrate in seasonal time frames to urban areas wherethey get skilled and unskilled jobs like carving, domestic work, andhelpers on contractual basis in households and industrial units.In India, prior NREGA, as we have already seen, the employmentprovided was not proper and the workers were forced to migrate insearch of jobs because they did not see much yield on farming alone.The district of Chhota Udaipur is an industrially backward, poordistrict with lack of even the most basic rail infrastructure. Besides, itis not efficiently irrigated. If it were to be irrigated, the people wouldhave to undergo education on how to use irrigation techniques andnew seeds for better yields. What we find in this district is pooreducation and high dropout rates. Thus, the tribes depend onsecondary skilled and unskilled jobs for their livelihood.Certain belief exists that because NREGA has been fruitful inproviding better results and livelihood to poor communities, theresult is they prefer to live in their own villages or nearby areasbecause NREGA gives them enough work for indulgence for almost awhole year. This brings us to a speculation that NREGA should havedecreased the migration to other cities since its implementation.Whether this is true has to be observed again through somestatistical techniques. In this sub-study, we will observe whether theNREGA income the population earns in a year has been successful insuggesting them to stop migration to urban areas. First, let us state
63the hypothesis, and then carry on with some data and lastly theresults.HypothesisH0: the yearly NREGA income has had positive impact on migrationpatterns i.e. migration to other cities has decreased i.e. 1 0 .H1: Yearly NREGA income has had no impact on migration patternsi.e. 1 0 .Table 3Migration data of sample populationRecord No. Migration Place Value(Y) NREGA income(Rs.) (X)16 Yes Visalpur,Ahmadabad1 Rs.14,880.0017 Yes Mandvi, Kutch 1 Rs. -18 No NIL 0 Rs.840.0019 Yes Visalpur,Ahmadabad1 Rs.620.0020 Yes Rajkot,Saurashtra1 Rs. -21 Yes Kalawar,Saurashtra1 Rs.1,240.0022 Yes Visalpur,Ahmadabad1 Rs.6,000.0023 No Nil 0 Rs.36,000.0024 No Nil 0 Rs.
6444,640.0025 Yes Morbi, Rajkotdist.1 Rs.2,000.0026 Yes Padamba,Barodadist.1 Rs.28,800.0027 Yes Motwadhara,Kalawar dist.1 Rs.2,480.0028 Yes Limdi, Rajkotdist.1 Rs.7,800.0029 Yes Visalpur,Ahmadabad1 Rs.2,480.0030 Yes Khorana, Rajkotdist.1 Rs.2,480.0031 Yes Visalpur,Ahmadabad1 Rs.18,600.00When we plot the above values for x and y on a curve the result isthis:We shall now attempt to calculate the relationship migration haswith NREGA. With a R2value of 0.33, dependency of migration onNREGA income is of the degree of 33%. Also the regression equation,0.986 1.646y x suggests a negative relationship. The results for theabove curve can be summarised as follows:121ˆ 0.556 .020.026( ) .612yRt The t value comes out to be .612 which is lower than the lowercritical tail value of 2.145 at 14 degrees of freedom. The nullhypothesis is thus rejected and we can fairly conclude that NREGAhas had no impact on migration pattern of the sample population.How do we analyze the migration pattern? Though the above resultssuggest that NREGA hasn’t had much impact on migrations, it alsosuggests that the phenomenon seems to have increased over theyears. An employment generating Act should contain long migrations
65by providing gainful employment to the local populace. However, theobservation has been the irregularity of NREGA projects beingprovided, when compared to some other districts where projects areprovided on regular basis. This makes a compulsion upon the tribalpeople to migrate to other cities because they depend on earningonly through daily wage labour. Thus, on the migration aspect,NREGA has shown no such positive result.Concluding the resultsWhen we compare the two districts, we find differences in incomesand migration patterns. For example, villagers in Baroda district earnmore incomes through secondary jobs. Though we observedNREGA’s comparatively lesser significance in contributing to theyearly income as compared to Sabarkantha, the sample of Baroda ismore financially well off as can be seen from the graph below.0200004000060000800001000001200001400001600001 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31Sum of Yearly income1 (NREGA+secondary+primary)Sum of Yearly income2 (without NREGA)
66From the figure given above, some rough conclusions can be pointedout: Starting from record number 16 till record 31, that representssample of Sabarkantha district, we observe comparativelyhigher yearly incomes. From a rough viewpoint, samples 1-15of Sabarkantha earn not more than Rs. 60,000 a year whereasthe samples 16-31 of Baroda district earn a staggering Rs. 1,00,000 to Rs. 1, 20,000 a year. The sample in Baroda district earns an average of Rs. 53, 657 ayear while in Sabarkantha the sample earns an average of Rs.38, 340 a year which is equal to 1.4 times of incomes earned inSabarkantha. Yearly income of Sabarkantha district is more consistent andregular with fewer disparities observed. In Baroda district,disparity in income exists with some samples families earningnot more than Rs. 20,000 a year while majority earn more thanRs. 50,000 a year. Also observed is the consistency of NREGA income earned inSabarkantha. This is due to regular work period providedthrough NREGA, uniform wages and timely payment. Quite thecontrary exists in Baroda where untimely payment of wagesand unavailability of work is the norm. Income through NREGAis also more inconsistent than the income observed inSabarkantha. The most important comparison has to be between theregression results of the two districts. The two regression lineshave been reproduced here for quick reference.
68 Figure 1 corresponds to Baroda district while the latterrepresents Sabarkantha. It can be clearly seen the extent ofNREGA’s influence in Sabarkantha. A staggering 91% of theyearly income of the sample in Sabarkantha is explained byNREGA implying the predominance of NREGA wages in thisregion, while only a low figure of 9% of yearly incomes isearned through NREGA in Baroda district. Though wages werehigher in Baroda, the sample there preferred to work insecondary jobs for livelihood. Tribal people in Baroda are more migratory than those inSabarkantha, to the point that no proper regression could beestablished between NREGA and migration in the latter district.Though it may seem absurd to establish such a relationshipbetween NREGA and degree of yearly migrations, it is a factthat employment generating laws do effect migration patternsof people. The sample of Sabarkantha was too satisfied withNREGA’s workings so they found no reason for migration,whereas those in Baroda claimed lack of NREGA work forcingthem to still migrate to other towns. Although savings accounts have not been considered, NREGAcontributed to increased bank accounts and savings that werenot observable in tribal districts prior NREGA. Data has notbeen produced due to topic being outside this research. The incomes observed increased at marginal levels only i.e. themagnitude of their increase was not of the degree for the tribalpeople to reap durable benefits like buying new lands, assets oreven small houses or electrical appliances like a second handtelevision or Radio. This is because the wage offered by NREGAwas far too less than the wages offered by third partyemployers in small towns and cities. Research pointed out not
69less than Rs. 400 on an average per day was the norm forsecondary jobs.These were some of conclusions from our results. Though exactdegree of impact can never be pinpointed, it is quite clear thatNREGA has had a considerable impact on the livelihood of thesepeople as far as basic yearly incomes & savings are concerned. As formigration, results vary as not only NREGA influences migratorypatterns but also factors like local preferences, work culture of thetribe, degree of entrepreneurship as some tribes are known for doinggood small businesses while some do not encourage or possessmuch of enterprising behaviour, individual ambitions and the like.However, for purposes of feedback to government agencies onNREGA, a more in-depth analysis needs to be done taking intoaccount the Act’s impact on the expenditure patterns withconsideration of prices of important food and durable articles,changes in education levels due to any observed increase in incomesand the like. NREGA by its very nature is for temporary purposes asone can comprehend while going through its gazetted governmentdocument. Though it offers better quality of welfare than theprevious programmes there was a general consensus among thesample that still more needs to be done on NREGA and the wages itoffers and also in the behaviour of the officials implementing this Actas they are directly held responsible for the quality ofimplementation. Perhaps by only increasing the market rate of wagethrough amending the Wages Act, NREGA can achieve more successat village levels. Amendments can also be made in the Act to supportlong term agricultural practices to make farming even moreproductive as that is the primary occupation of not just the tribes butfor the whole Indian sub-continent. It is simple logic that though
70NREGA increased incomes of the targeted people, that increasewon’t last long as the projects it undertakes like digging, check dams,irrigation & road works are of temporary nature and not such thatwould employ people over a series of generations. That is onlyachieved in agriculture. Unfortunately, till now, NREGA does nothave much to offer in the farming sector. Though a well planned Act,being discussed in foreign countries of its success and uniqueness,we cannot let it down like the prior programmes that were sadlywithdrawn due to failures and embarrassing scandals. WhetherNREGA will last long or be normally withdrawn that has been thenorm in Indian political environment, only time will tell.~~~End~~~