ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee SchemeSubscribe to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme in Kerala

Demands to launch an urban employment guarantee scheme similar to that of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been gaining traction for a while. Kerala has been a front-runner in this regard by launching the Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme way back in 2010. At a time when the entire country is seeking an urban counterpart of the rural employment guarantee scheme, the potential and pitfalls of its urban version need to be looked into.

Did MGNREGS Improve Financial Inclusion?

Utilising household-level data, this paper investigates the impact of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme on financial inclusion. Exploiting the staggered timing of the roll-out of the programme across districts, while controlling for its non-random implementation, it is found that MGNREGS improves financial access. This is confirmed in simple univariate tests as well as in multivariate regressions that take into account several district- and household-level controls. The evidence, however, is less compelling when the use of finance is examined, although there is a differential impact for districts with higher proportion of women. The magnitudes in most cases are quite large and suggest that public works programme can positively influence financial inclusion.

Majoritarian Rationale and Common Goals

Looking at existing policy instruments and goals, and the economic and social outcomes they promise to deliver, it is argued that majoritarian politics and social and cultural outcomes are not part of fringe thinking. The politics of hate actually works to build a consensus for ruling class economics. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only "nationalist outlook" of our times is to stand firmly behind the policy programme for the global investor.
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