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Why MNREGA should be scrapped in national interest!
This is a period of practical recession particularly in infrastructure development sector. Narendra Modi being prime minister, everyone expects a huge boost in this sector in terms of investment. Investments will initiate new projects that would create more employment. Lots of engineers, professionals, experts and supervisor class would be benefited. But how the projects can be executed without labourers!

At this moment ask any executor of infrastructure projects regarding their constraint, and they would definitely say lack of skilled, semiskilled and even unskilled laborers are main constraint! Isn't it strange that in a poor country like India, there is shortage of labourers? If at present, projects are suffering due to shortage of labour force, how the boost in infrastructure can can be achieved in future driven by huge investments!

If we go in deep to know the reason, we would be really surprised to know that it's the populist policies of UPA government that are responsible for shortage of labourers! First whatever skilled labourers are available are straight away going to gulf countries for better remuneration. Earlier too they were going to gulf and other countries, but somehow the pool of workforce in India was so huge, it never affected infrastructure projects. For nearly a decade, no new labourers are coming to the field resulting acute shortage of skilled labourers.

One should also note how skill enhancement was done earlier. First a worker joins the work force as an unskilled like helpers, and then through practice and experience they promote themselves in to semi-skilled labourers, skilled labourers and finally high skilled labourers. (carpenters, steel fitters, plumbers, masons etc).

One of the main reasons is MNREGA and the other is cheap rice and other commodities as part of FSB and other state related programs. These are populist programs implemented by UPA government for vote garnering tactic. These programs now make India vulnerable.

Registered under MNREGA, one will get 100 days of minimum employment in a year. That means he/she will get around 8 days of employment in a month. Now let's consider his wage as Rs 80/- per day. That means first day of wage is enough for his monthly requirement of rice/wheat, thanks to Rs 1/2/3 per kg rice! Second day's wage is sufficient for its monthly requirement of dal etc.

That means two day's wage is sufficient for his family's stomach requirement! Poor and tribal people generally don't have much more requirement. Thus rest 6 day's wages are wasted for liquor and other requirement. When there is no further need to them, why would they need to go out for hard labour? On the other hand, isn't such populist policies intended to create a lazy vote bank?

No doubt it's state's responsibility to provide employment to all. But what's the use of wasting nation's wealth in creating a lazy class? Food security is no doubt a fundamental obligation by state. But can such security be obtained in gifting commodities almost free or rather as donation to beggars for just vested political interest!

The motto of the government is to ensure that nobody sleeps empty stomach. The senior people, children, disabled people must be ensured by Panchayati Raj institutions so that they shouldn?t remain hungry! On the other hand youth and able poor people must be given employment and earning capabilities to purchase their requirement at market price!

We should also not ignore the plight of labourers working outside (beyond their villages). Past records shows maximum labourers are harassed, victimized and treated like bonded labourers. Thus justice must be prevailing on them. But that doesn't mean to make them a lazy class providing nonsense employment with freebies.

There is need of radical reform in labour laws. The unorganized sectors need to be organized. The agencies involving supplying labourers must be made registered and accountable for each labourers interest. The hiring agencies must make sure that all labourers are paid fairly, regularly with PF and other provision. Their living condition at worksite must be improved, the law enforcement officers must be accountable and there must be a database of labourers working across India. The present situation is such that executing agencies put all the responsibility on labour contractors making them Peace Rate worker and law enforcement officers like labour inspector, commissioner etc look other way getting their cuts.

Interestingly I just made this analysis considering infrastructure sector. Just imagine what would be the condition in agrarian sector? People simply leave cultivation because of unavailability of labourers and not getting price of their corps!

Thus I can conclude that MNREGA must be scrapped as well as the freebies should stop. Make employment available to all capable people making them able to purchase their ration like other people deservingly doing hard labour.

Laws must be reformed to ensure proper justice to them preventing harassment and victimization. 'Ek Bharat and Shrestha Bharat' can only be possible if all Indians contribute their best! If a sizable population remains idle enjoying freebie and sops, it would neither help their interest nor national interest!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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I fully support the arguments made in this article. In fact,to be efficacious, the Modi Government must implement Economic Reforms seriously. As a first step in this direction, it should abolish all subsidies which are eating into the vitals of the nation's economy and are only benefiting the rich and middle class farmers. It must do away with fertiliser subsidy, food subsidy, kerosene subsidy and in fact, subsidy of all kinds. Everybody must earn and pay for whatever product he wants. It must then abolish and dismantle all public sector undertakings which are only a white elephant on the public exchequer. During the course of my 36 years in Government service, I have found that government servants and the servants of PSUs were very conscious of their rights but hardly conscious of their duties. Everybody thought that everybody else would do the work and the works, except the work related to the Parliamentary matters and other urgent works, remained pending. The PSUs actually work as if they were of the government, for the government and by the government. They have palatial guest houses which were used by the ministers and government officers who came on tour ostensibly for Government work but actually for rest and recreation. Their vehicles are also made to run for the ministers and the Govt. officers for visits to their places of interest so that they could tell their children and grandchildren which tourist places they have visited when they occupied those high offices. Needless to add that breakfast, lunches and dinners etc. were also arranged by the PSUs. They also provided staff to the Central Government departments concerned for doing the work of the department. Result was that the PSUs were soon getting into red and due to rationing, quota and licensing systems and the losses suffered by the PSUs, the economy of the country was ruined by the government of India. By selling the PSUs, the Govt. of India could also reduce its staff dealing with PSUs and save expenditure. Department of Coal, Steel, Mines, Fertilisers, etc. could be abolished. Then there should be no license permit quota Inspector Raj and let the Private sector compete with each other in the case of mining, etc. The Land Acquisition Law needs to done away with and let market forces guide the cost of the land to be purchased by industrialists. All the subsidies should be withdrawn and everything should be guided by market forces. If the Economic Reforms are truly implemented then the Government could go in for building rural infrastructure which is so necessary for implementing healthcare and education by investing the money got from the sale of PSUs and money saved on expenditure on Govt. staff dealing with PSUs which would no longer be required.
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