New Delhi: The programmes taken up under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which increase agriculture productivity in the rural areas, are not being "blocked" by the Naxalites, a study has claimed.
Council for Social Development (CSD), a study group of social workers and social scientists, also noted in its draft report that "as a combined result of NREGA and Naxalites’ pressure, contractors are paying higher wages to the manual workers (in the areas hit by left-wing extremism)".
The Naxalites have been blocking road construction but not the other kinds of permissible works under NREGA, CSD claimed in its report. The study had been jointly sponsored by the Rural Development Ministry and UNDP.
"Especially, land development works on the lands owned by scheduled castes and scheduled tribes….In short, those works which increase agricultural productivity of the rural poor are not blocked by Naxalites," it added.
The CSD conducted the study in tribal-dominated and Naxal-affected areas in Chattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh on implementation of NREGA and its impact there.
Sources in the ministry said that CSD was given the task to conduct a study in Naxal-affected areas after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had in one of the meetings of the ministry in October last year sought to know whether any study was conducted on the impact on NREGA.