The National Rural Corruption Guarantee Scheme — Revisited

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.”

Author: Atanu Dey


3 thoughts on “The National Rural Corruption Guarantee Scheme — Revisited”

  1. “I am disgusted with you, sir. Please quit.” .. lol
    I wish.

    BTW, I think Congress is not going away easily. We may have to endure another term of Congress or UPA in some form. Here’s why..

    Bihar will give more seats to Lalu and so will Jharkhand.
    Maharashtra Congress wins by default because of States caste chemistry. (Dalit+Muslim+Patils)
    Uttar Pradesh, will move towards Mulayam who will ultimately support Congress.

    BJP faces anti-incumbency in Punjab,MP,Chattisgarh,Rajasthan,Uttarkhand and by the time elections come in Karnataka too. Gujarat will see BJP hanging on to 12 seats thanks only to Modi.

    Here’s how the situation is most likely to emerge.

    BJP and Congress will both loose about 10 to 20 seats. Which means “third front” will emerge stronger. That also means a third front govt supported by Congress.

    It would be either Mulayam,Lalu or Karat as PM. Sorry for giving a peak into forth coming nightmare, but this is increasingly likely scenario.


  2. I think the best approach would be to encourage unskilled people to get trained and become electrician, mason, carpenter etc. There is a serious shortage of skilled manpower. Let the skills be imparted by private players and govt subsidize the cost of it once individual proves sufficient level of skill. Other help could be provided by free information portals regarding jobs availability. But all these will not fetch a single vote, and therefore nothing will happen. NREGS will continue as NRCGS.


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