Workers working at a road construction site in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Budget 2019: Government Sets MGNREGA Spending At Rs 60,000 Crore

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced that the government will allocate Rs 60,000 crore towards the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for 2019-20.

That’s higher than Rs 55,000 crore allocated in last year’s budget. In January, it increased the allocation by Rs 6,000 crore. “We have worked to bridge the urban-rural divide in the country,” Goyal said during his union budget speech in Parliament. “If needed, more funds will be made available.”

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act provides at least 100 days of manual work with daily wages to every household in the countryside.

MGNREGA, which was the previous UPA government's flagship, is one of the key schemes aimed towards the rural sector. Between 2012-13 and 2016-17, pending payments, as a percentage of MGNREGA expenditure, rose from 39 percent to 56 percent, and the expenditures in each of the five years have exceeded allocations.