There is no clarity on what could be the reason behind this rising trend of entry level workforce among MGNREGA workers but experts say this could be a reflection of rural distress and lack of employment opportunities.
Sources said that the government feels that SAD, which is an ally of ruling BJP, will not leave any stone unturned to stop central grant under MGNREGA to Punjab as it is politically helping Congress in the state.
Rural distress is real. The first is to recognise it. Drinking water, improving efficiency of existing irrigation systems, rural finance, including temporary waiver of loan repayments, needs funds, which the affected states do not have.
Interestingly, researchers observed that as much as 5 million people left the workforce between 2016 and 2018. "The beginning of the decline in jobs coincided with demonetisation in November 2016, although no direct causal relationship can be established based only on these trends," The State of Working India (SWI) 2019 report released by Azim Premji University says.