Specttrum News: The MNREGA scheme has in fact helped revive the agriculture sector of the country. This is being emphasised by the Social activists who are opposing the NDA government's move to reform the scheme.
According to a new study conducted by a Mumbai-based research institute, a majority of the works undertaken, around 79 %, explicitly supports agricultural activities, via horticulture, land levelling, water conservation and harvesting works on public lands.
"The remaining works include roads and afforestation, some of which implicitly support agriculture as well. In the context of critiques of the MNREGA, it is apparent that Maharashtra's MNREGA is supportive of agriculture," says the study 'MNREGA Works and their Impacts: A Rapid Assessment in Maharashtra' conducted by Mumbai-based Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGDR).
Government, however, countered the argument citing another study on MNREGA done by an economist from University of Michigan which questioned the existence of such a scheme, at least in its current form. According the government, an empirical study 'Why Guarantee Employment? Evidence from a Large Indian Public-Works Program' by Laura Zimmermann of University of Michigan has established that the overall direct effects of MNREGA on the labor market are small.
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