tisdag 24 november 2009

Stor public works-satsning i Indien

Spännande i Economist om en jättelik public works-satsning i Indien!

"India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which guarantees 100 days of minimum-wage employment on public works to every rural household that asks for it. But getting the work is not always easy. And getting paid for it is gruelling labour in itself.

Mr Kumar has three colleagues but no computer. It will take him four days of paperwork to distribute the money to hundreds of tiny accounts opened by NREGA workers. He will get to it when he can, he says. It could be worse. In the eastern state of Jharkhand, a banker was more enthusiastic about the NREGA. He conspired with a local official and contractor to fake the number of days worked under the scheme, withdrawing the extra money from oblivious workers’ accounts.

Despite such flaws, the NREGA is winning praise from unexpected quarters. One reason India weathered the financial crisis of the past year was the strength of rural demand, many economists argue, and one reason for that strength was the expansion of the act to every rural district in April 2008. Once dismissed as a reckless fiscal sop, the scheme is now lauded as a timely fiscal stimulus. Because it must accommodate anyone who demands work, it can expand naturally as the need arises."
Economist, "Rural job guarantees", 5 november

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