It is widely acknowledged that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, (NREGA) first implemented in February 2006, has been a magnificent success.how magnificent was this success in, say, andhra pradesh?
* total no of persondays of work generated since inception (february 2006) until 7th, july, 2009:
* at an average wage rate of rs. 83.73
* for 76,81,716 households or 1,38,46,019 individuals.
* total wages paid until now: 52,49,98 lakhs.
what could each of those households have received in total wages, on average, in each of those nearly four years of employment? anything between rs.1,300- 2,000 a year?
now, finally, how much of that money did actually reach each of those households? 15%, as rajiv gandhi would have said? or 50%?
and even if they received 100% of that money, after you account for inflation (which has been tougher on people who live on less than rs.20 day because the goods they buy have been hit the most in the last 4-5 years), what kind of a difference did nrega really make to their real incomes? far from magnificent, i'm sure.
now calculate how much each family that pays income tax saves from the latest proposals of the finance minister increasing income tax exemption limits. it'd be, on an average, more than what each of the first kind of households received for doing hard, manual labour. why didn't the finance minister pat himself on his back and call it a magnificent gesture, i wonder.