Monday, June 22, 2009

Comment on WSJ's observation on NREGA

From ThinkChange India I read an article on Wall Street Journal about India's poverty and specifically about NREGA. I commented in TC-I about the article which I am reproducing here.

Two things about WSJ's observation on NREGA
1. About moving beyond NREGA in the next 5 years (which helps survive but not escape poverty).

The author is correct about making NREGA less prominent and making training, infrastructure investment, more prominent. But given the imperfections in implementing NREGA (corruption), it would be too soon to expect the transition in the next 5 years. I suspect, it would leave a void that would be occupied by more corruption. "But is the government thinking about skill enhancement?" is the real question to face!

2. Transparency.
Well, there are concrete measures for transparency that are already delivering. For example, the wage payment are increasingly made as bank transfers to the worker rather than cash. Another example is making NREGA, RTI compliant. This empowers independent monitors like RTI activists. The Hindu Publication has followed NREGA very well. Links

The Frontline survey in Jan 2009 edition: Go to "cover story" to the left of the page

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