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Creation of assets in MGNREGA leads to increase in income: UNDP report

United Progressive Alliance(UPA) government's flagship programme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MGNREGA), despite coming under criticism from various quarters, it has however, received a pat on back from the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and Sambodhi a Delhi based research organisation.

The report states that MGNREGA has generated extra income for households with the survey indicating that  a majority of the households noted a 10- 15% increase in income post creation of assets through MGNREGA. The report also states that  34% had taken up alternate sources of livelihoods due to creation of assets and income generated. For example, some of the farmers reported opening their own grocery shops, better linkages to markets etc.

The report also refuted that households are not provided the work that have demanded under MGNREGA.'Research also suggests there was no significant evidence of rationing or denial of work on demand to households; 94% of the households received employment after placing a demand in the past 12 months,' states the report.

 The most important aspect of the Act, which encourages self-reliance is also brought out with the report stating that almost 42% of the households who sought employment under MGNREGA and on whose land work was undertaken, do not come back to work on MGNREGA.

'This is a positive trend as the report indicates since,  12% of these respondents reported an increase in cultivable land and 36% reported an increase in number of crops sown. This may suggest that MGNREGA is in part realising its objective of making small and marginal farmers and other marginalised communities, self-reliant,' stated the report.

The report however highlighted that there was a need for better planning because out of the beneficiaries that have come back to work on MGNREGA, 34% still indicate a need for MGNREGA to augment their income.

The report also underlines the need for  better choice of works under MGNREGA  as 29% of the households believed that the quality and choice of works could have been better.
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