Working paper / MGNREGS: Political Economy, Local Governance, and Asset Creation in South India

List Editor Ashok R Chandran21/12/2016

Vinoj Abraham (2016, September). MGNREGS: Political Economy, Local Governance and Asset Creation in South India. (CDS Working Paper No. 471). Thiruvananthapuram: Centre for Development Studies.

Abstract: MGNREGS, the premier centrally-sponsored national rural livelihood scheme, is one of the most elaborately designed and implemented public workfare programmes in India.

While a large number of studies have analysed the progress of employment creation under the scheme, very few have looked into the equally important issue of rural asset creation under the scheme.

The scheme is centrally sponsored and the broad guidelines are centrally designed, yet the interpretation and implementation of the scheme are subject to wide regional variation owing to variations in local level governance capacity, governance structure and regional political economy.

Evidence based on a primary survey across the four southern states, viz., Andhra Pradesh (erstwhile), Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala shows that the design of the scheme for asset creation is subject to considerably varied interpretations at the regional and sub-regional levels anchored on the above factors.

Further, the type of projects selected and created, extent and nature of expenditure incurred, quality of assets created, and maintenance of assets were considerably affected by the structures of local governance, the interaction between the political class and the local governments, and the local manifestations of class-caste dynamics.

Full text (free download): <>

V. Sriram
Chief Librarian, KN Raj Library, Centre for Development Studies,

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