The National Rural Corruption Guarantee Scheme (NRCGS) was the title of a post from Nov 2007, one of a series of posts dealing with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, starting with one in Nov 2004 on “Sir, won’t you buy this bridge and the Employment Guarantee Act?”
Basically, any competent economist could have foretold what would happen with the NREGS — the deepening of poverty, increase in inflation, increase in corruption, and so on. Dr Manmohan Singh, reportedly an economist, ignored all these things because his paymasters needed this sort of corruption to keep their hold on power by ensuring even greater poverty. The corruption that is associated with the handling of thousands of crores of rupees (billions of dollars) is not the most disgusting aspect of the NREGS. The most disturbing aspect is that a leader who definitely knows better is willing to sell his soul for the chance to hang to his chair a bit longer.
It is a Faustian bargain and the people of India have started to pay and will continue to pay for a few decades. They will pay because they will suffer the predictably adverse effects of electing self-serving venal politicians with the morals of pond scum and the ethical standards of bottom feeders.
A news item in today’s The Pioneer (via Sandeep) is titled “Only corruption is guaranteed in NREG, reveals study.” That report is about a Transparency International study. Wow! Really? NREG guarantees corruption? Who would have guessed!!
Here’s what I wrote in 2004 November:
Here, I will go out on a limb and predict that if ever this EGA is implemented, it will actually increase the level of poverty and the number of poor in India. It will drag those at the margins of poverty deeper into poverty. The only guaranteed effect will be an absolute increase in the amount of corruption and some politicians will make obscene amounts of money.
Take a look at the entire set of posts on NREGS and if you know the guy who is responsible, send him a copy with a yellow post-it attached saying, “I am disgusted with you, sir. Please quit.”