Over 65 per cent beneficiaries of the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana receive wages that are below the minimum wages set by states, a study commissioned by the rural development ministry, has said.
The study has also pointed to leakage in the supply chain. For instance, in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, a Food Corporation of India schedule said it had released 120,313 tonnes of foodgrain.
But data from the zilla parishad, which obtained the foodgrain, put the amount at 117,900 tonnes and the state civil supplies department, which distributes foodgrain, said the amount was 113,510 tonnes. This means that 5.65 per cent of the foodgrain went missing in the supply chain.
The report said against an average wage of Rs 84 per manday for skilled workers and Rs 60.23 per manday for unskilled workers, a majority of the beneficiaries received daily wages ranging from Rs 31 to Rs 60 a day. The average wage received by beneficiaries in all states was Rs 58.48.
Similarly, only 20 states provided workers with the 5 kg of foodgrain per manday, which they were entitled to under the scheme. On an average, 3.10 kg of rice and 4.18 kg of wheat were provided as wages, the study conducted by the Centre for Management Development said.
The scheme is to be merged with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme.
In 2005-06, the Centre allocated Rs 3,600 crore (Rs 36 billion) as cash component of the scheme.
The average wage for male workers, at Rs 59.66 a day, was 19 per cent higher than the Rs 50.12 per day provided to women workers.
The study conducted on behalf of the government said 48 per cent of the beneficiaries of the scheme were unaware of minimum wages.
The survey was conducted in those districts across the country where the scheme had been implemented. Under the scheme, wages are paid partly in cash and partly in foodgrain.
Guidelines stipulate that workers are to be paid minimum wages set by a state government and that men and women be paid equal wages.The study found that on an average, labourers belonging to scheduled castes got an average wage of Rs 57.87 per day, 14 per cent higher than the average of Rs 50.57 a day that scheduled tribes workers get.