The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as a Safety Net in Birbhum, West Bengal
12 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2010 Last revised: 3 Sep 2010
Date Written: June 4, 2010
One of the four goals of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is the provision of a, “Strong social safety net for the vulnerable groups by providing a fall-back employment source, when other employment alternatives are scarce or inadequate” (Ministry of Rural Development, 2008, p. 1). This article is motivated by the goal stated above and is concerned with examining whether the employment guarantee scheme serves as a social safety net by providing a source of employment when other alternatives are limited. In particular, to serve as an effective “employer of last resort”, the programme should be providing (i) proportionately more job-days during the agricultural lean season and (ii) wages should be paid in a timely manner. Accordingly, this article focuses on whether these conditions are being met and at the same time comments on other aspects of the functioning of the NREGA in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
Keywords: Employment Guarantee Programs, Safety Nets, West Bengal, India
JEL Classification: I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation