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Inclusive Growth via Labour Market Integration: A Study of MGNREGS in Kerala

Kumar, Dr.B.Pradeep (2015): Inclusive Growth via Labour Market Integration: A Study of MGNREGS in Kerala. Published in: Indian Economic Development: Bottlenecks and Solutions (March 2015): pp. 144-149.

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Economists and sociologists suggest a plethora of ways towards attaining the broad objective of inclusive growth. Among such ways, the argument put forward by the supporters of ‘social integrationists approach to inclusion’ deserves to be indomitably deliberated in any discourse pertaining to the inclusive growth strategy. Theoretically speaking, participation in labour market assumes importance as it, on prima facie, offers ample opportunities to connect to the economy through both sides of the market: the supply side and the demand side. On the supply aspect, participation in labour market would enhance the level of output, pushing up aggregate supply, bringing down the price level and thereby benefitting the poor and the disadvantaged to a great extent. On the demand side, the compensation to workers preferably in monetized form would add to the buying power of workers, which would in turn fuel the aggregate demand in the economy. In Kerala, MGNREGS was implemented in three phases. When it was implemented in 2006 in two districts, Wayanad and Palakkad, apprehensions were raised as to the success of this programme in a State where the problem is not about the unemployment of casual unskilled labourers but of educated youths (Raman, 2010). Allying all such fears, the evidence has shown that the programme has been a success throughout the State. Further, the participation of women in MGNREGS has also been remarkably high in the State. Setting against this background, this paper intends to evaluate the implementation of MGNREGS in Kerala, a state where educated unemployment has been an unabated problem for many years, and its various dimensions and implications for the State economy.

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