New Delhi: Distress migration from rural areas has gone down due to implementation of the Centre`s ambitious rural job scheme, according to the beneficiary survey conducted by the CAG on performance audit of MNREGA.
The survey, which sought to gauge the impact of the the programme launched by the Rural Development Ministry in 2006, however, says that there was no improvement in the family income of the beneficiaries of the scheme.
"Sixty three per cent of the beneficiaries responded that MNREGA had helped them avoid migration in search of work. In addition, 53 per cent of the beneficiaries also felt that MNREGA helped them avoid doing works which they did not want to," says the survey.
The survey report has been incorporated as a chapter in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which was tabled in Parliament yesterday
According to CAG, 38,376 beneficiaries (26,115 males and 12, 261 females) were interviewed from 3,837 gram panchayats in 27 states and three union territories. The state-union territory sample size varied from 50 in Dadra and Nagar Haveli to 4,600 in Uttar Pradesh.
The survey also commented on the MNREGA`s role in creating "useful assets" in villages.
"About 71 per cent of respondents felt that useful assets had been created in their villages through MNREGA. However, in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu only less than half the beneficiaries felt that useful assets had been created under the scheme," it says.
On the question of improvement of family income, the survey said, "75 per cent of the beneficiaries felt that there was no improvement in their family income or that the improvement was only marginal."
In its report, the government auditor had come down heavily on the way MNREGA has been implemented.
It had said that "irregularities" were detected and works of over Rs 4,000 crore were lying incomplete while projects undertaken for over Rs 2,000 crore under the rural job scheme were not permissible.
According to the CAG, the irregularities in MNREGA pertain to diversion of funds, implementation of impermissible works and deficiencies in maintenance of records.