The rural development ministry has sought a higher allocation of Rs 48,000 crore for its flagship National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in the 2017-18 budget.
The government has so far allocated Rs 43,500 crore in the current financial year, one of the highest allocations made for the rural development programme. It is likely to provide further assistance of Rs 4,000 crore for the scheme this year, taking the total allocation to Rs 47,500 crore. The ministry had sought an additional Rs 10,000 crore in the second supplementary budget for this fiscal. NREGS is a demand-led scheme where a household can seek up to 100 days of manual work, which can be extended to 150 days in some circumstances. With many parts of the country reeling under drought or drought-like conditions for the previous two years due to deficient monsoon, there has been more pressure on the scheme to generate employment for rural poor.