Attaining Sustainable Rural Infrastructure through the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India

Polly Datta


The enactment of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) 2005, with its rights-based approach through a time-bound employment guarantee and legal framework, has marked a paradigm shift not only from other wage-employment programmes hitherto pursued in India, but also from neo-liberal reforms undertaken since 1991. The Act came into force on 2 February 2006 and was implemented in a phased manner. In Phase I it was introduced in 200 of the most backward districts of the country; Phase II added another 130 districts in 2007-08; and in Phase III the scheme was further extended to the remaining 274 rural districts of India from 1 April 2008.

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