Unemployment rate falls as MGNREGA perks up rural infrastructure: SBI report

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 3 (ANI): Chief Economic Adviser of the Economic Research Department at the State Bank of India (SBI), Dr. Soumya Kanti Ghosh in his report noted that India's unemployment rate (estimated by BSE and CMIE from data collected regarding the employment/unemployment status of all members of 15 years and more of a sample of randomly selected households) declined sharply and consistently from 9.5 percent in Aug'16 to merely 4.8 percent in Feb'17. "Among major States, during the same period, sharp de-cline was registered in Uttar Pradesh (17.1 percent to 2.9 percent), Madhya Pradesh (10.0 percent to 2.7 percent), Jharkhand (9.5 percent to 3.1 percent), Odisha (10.2 percent to 2.9 percent) and Bihar (13.0 percent to 3.7 percent)," added the report. It said that the decline is primarily due to government's efforts in providing new employment opportunities in rural areas. This decline is also explained by household demanded/allocated work under MGNREGA, which increased from 83 lakh households in Oct'16 to 167 lakh households in Feb'17. Further, the number of works completed under MGNREGA in-creased by a whopping 40 percent to 50.5 lakh in FY17 compared to 36.0 lakh in FY16. Notable increase was registered in the works of Anganwadi (166 percent), Drought Proofing (158 percent), Rural Drinking Water (698 percent) and Water Conservation and Harvesting (142 percent). This is a welcome trend and will contribute greatly for developing rural infrastructure a sine qua non for sustained agri growth. In Union Budget FY18, MGNREGA scheme has been allocated a budgetary resource of Rs 48,000 crore. During FY18, another five lakh farm ponds will be taken up, compared to expected 10 lakh farm ponds during FY17. This single measure will contribute greatly to drought proofing of gram panchayats. (ANI)