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Enriching the Lives of Marginalised Sections: Case of MGNREGS in Composite Andhra Pradesh, India

C. Samba Murty and M. Srinivasa Reddy

Journal of Development Policy and Practice, 2020, vol. 5, issue 2, 184-201

Abstract: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) initiated in 2006 is essentially a reaction to the jobless growth witnessed in the post-1991 reforms period. The Scheme seeks to improve the livelihoods of the marginalised sections in rural areas by generating wage employment. The article is an attempt to examine if the Scheme is really benefitting these sections as envisaged. Our village survey data of composite Andhra Pradesh (AP) brings to the fore the fact that the socially lowly placed scheduled castes (SCs), scheduled tribes (STs) and other backward castes (OBCs) were well represented among the beneficiaries of the Scheme, female participation in the Scheme was way beyond expectations, the Scheme was indeed the mainstay of the illiterate and the little educated that look for manual labour, and the otherwise rarely preferred elderly of the labour market found place in the Scheme and they could make significant contribution to earnings of poor households. It further throws up the finding that the Scheme was an important employment avenue to reckon with in the rural labour market and therefore, it increased the bargaining strength and the reservation wage rate of the labour force. Briefly, the Scheme contributed to inclusive growth.

Keywords: Marginalised sections; MGNREGS; inclusive growth; rural labour market; bargaining strength; composite AP (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/2455133320953503

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jodepp:v:5:y:2020:i:2:p:184-201