Demand for NREGS Work at 10-month high

Demand for work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) rose for the third straight month through April and scaled a 10-month peak, thanks to subdued agricultural activities.

As many as 31.84 million individuals opted for work under the scheme in April, up over 12% from the previous month, according to the preliminary data compiled by the rural development ministry.

A senior ministry official said: "Work demand under the scheme typically goes up during summer, as farm activities ease. Also, this is the best time to undertake NREGS works like building water bodies, etc, before the rainy season". In fact, some states usually exhaust over a half of labour budget (person-day generation target) for the full fiscal year in the June quarter itself, he added.

On a year-on-year basis, however, work demand eased over 3% in April, showed the data.

Demand for work in April came from 24.11 million households, the highest since June 2022 and up almost 7% from the March level. These data get revised regularly as and when updated information flows in.

The data showed that in the 'individuals' category, work demand in April was driven substantially by five states: Tamil Nadu (4.93 million in April vs 4.71 million in March), Andhra Pradesh (4.79 million vs 3.16 million), Rajasthan (2.71 million vs 2.29 million), Telangana (2.68 million vs 1.68 million) and Uttar Pradesh (2.37 million vs 1.72 million).

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