Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS)

К оглавлению
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 
34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 
68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 
85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 
102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 
119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 
136 137 138 139 140 141 142 

The transformation of the JRY into the JGSY was preceded by a parallel

scheme launched in 1993 – the Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) –

that had similar objectives as the JRY/JGSY, but with reversed priorities.

The EAS, which was in implementation through most of the country by

1997–98, had the primary objective of creating additional wage employment

for the rural poor through manual work in periods of acute shortage of

employment opportunities, with asset creation as a secondary objective.

The EAS relied on self-targeting by setting of wage rates below market

wages. However, the EAS showed similar failings in implementation as its

close variant, the JGSY. For example, the scheme generated on average only

about 17 days of employment per person per year according to a study by

the Controller and Auditor General of India (GOI, 2000). The objective

of the EAS was, by comparison, to provide assured employment of 100

days per year at statutory minimum wages. The self-selection targeting

was subverted by routine use of contractors in most states, fudging of the

employment rolls, and violation of norms that called for a 60:40 split of

wages and materials in asset creation. As a result, in three states – West

Bengal, Gujarat and Haryana – the estimated unit cost of generating a

day’s employment was Rs 200 to Rs 300, far in excess of wage rates. For the

country as a whole, the mid-term evaluation estimated that only Rs 15 of

every Rs 100 expenditure reached the benefi ciaries as wages, against a target

of Rs 60. No inventory of assets was kept, making it diffi cult to ascertain

whether assets created were community assets or for individual benefi t. In

addition, with deteriorating fi nances of state governments, allocated funds

did not reach the ground in many cases, in part due to lack of matching

funds from state governments.

Amongst similar problems in the implementation of the EAS, a review by

the Planning Commission (PEO, 2000) found the effective rate of utilization

of funds was only about 67 per cent of the notional minimum allocations

to administrative blocks. This refl ected in part lack of matching funds from

state government preventing release of funds, and also ad hoc and untimely

release of funds by the governments. For example, the fi rst part of central

government allocation (40 per cent of the total allocation) was to be provided

at the beginning of the fi nancial year, with the remainder to be released on

receipt of utilization certifi cates. In practice, however, in more than half the

14 states studied, states received more than 50 per cent of their allocation in

the last quarter of the year. There was also evidence of signifi cant diversion

of funds, refl ected in a mismatch between allocation and expenditure of

funds at different nodes of implementation of the scheme. This diversion

was also noted by the report of the Controller and Auditor General of India

(CAG, 1997). PEO (2000) also found only 32 per cent of villages were covered

by the EAS in an average block, with little consistency in implementation

within specifi c villages. Thus, only 5.4 per cent of villages covered in a block

typically had the EAS operations in each year during the fi rst four years of

the EAS (1993–97). Thus, coverage of villages within specifi c blocks was

ad hoc, allowing discretion to district administrations, and there was little

credibility in terms of providing assurance of employment in the villages

actually covered. In addition, the study estimated that on average the EAS

implementation covered only 16 per cent of the target group in the chosen

villages. Thus, the effective annual coverage of the target groups in ten of the

14 states was less than 10 per cent, being as low as 1 to 3 per cent in some

states. Combined with the small number of days of employment generated

per person on average, the impact of the EAS on household income was

negligible. Although the EAS was quantitatively more signifi cant as a source

of income than other government wage employment programs running in

parallel in the villages, it contributed only 11.5 per cent of household annual

income to the extremely limited group of selected benefi ciaries.