ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NREGS in Rajasthan

Rationed Funds and Their Allocation across Villages

The performance of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Rajasthan was debated for its stupendous performance in the initial years of the scheme, but also for the relative sharp decline after 2010. Based on a large representative primary survey, this paper argues that the decline in performance of this scheme in Rajasthan is not entirely due to the lack of demand. Instead, the supply-driven top-down nature of the programme has led to a "discouraged worker" syndrome with workers showing disinterest in demanding work and passively waiting for availability of NREGS work. Strengthening the demand-based nature of the NREGS may reduce the need for rationing. Simple temporal tracking of NREGS outcomes at the village level along with proper recording of demand through the Management Information System may well help detect discrimination within panchayats.

The authors wish to thank Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (University of Manchester), Centre de Sciences Humaines (Delhi) and Planning and Policy Research Unit (Indian Statistical Institute-Delhi) for funding this study. This project has also received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 290754 (NOPOOR). The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily refl ect the views of the European Commission. We wish to thank participants of the “MG-NREGS: Understanding the Constraints to Implementation” workshop (Delhi) and comments of an anonymous referee. The usual disclaimers apply.

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