This study argues that a well-designed wage-employment programme, with a guarantee component, can not only address the immediate problem of ensuring employment and wages to the poor at the bottom, but can also contribute towards promoting pro-poor economic growth. This study builds a village-level social accounting matrix (SAM) to estimate the employment, income and output multiplier impacts of NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) works in a village in Gujarat. These multipliers tend to increase with time. NREGA works can also relieve women from the drudgery of unpaid work like collection of water, fuel, wood, fodder, material for shelter, craft etc., by strengthening local infrastructure. The reduction in unpaid work can promote gender equality as well as increase multiplier impacts through women's participation in NREGA. The study has identified an approach to maximise the values of the multipliers in the short and long runs. One needs to focus on the basic entitlements of NREGA that form the core of the act.
Indira Hirway is the director and professor of economics at the Centre For Development Alternatives (CFDA), Ahmedabad, India. She studied for her Masters at the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi and for her PhD at the University of Bombay, Mumbai. She has pub-lished books and articles in several areas - poverty and human development, labour and employment, globalisation and development paradigms as well as environment and development and environment accounting. Subhrangsu Goswami is an environmental engineer and environmental planner. He has been actively involved in various research projects in the field of water, environment and development, at CFDA as well as at the School of Planning, CEPT, Ahmedabad. Currently, he is a doctoral scholar of Planning and Public Policy at CEPT University, Ahmedabad.||M.R. Saluja has a Masters degree in Mathematics from Delhi University and a Masters in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute. He has published widely in reputed journals, a number of them relating to database, input-output techniques, social accounting matrices (SAM), tourist satellite accounts and poverty.|Bhupesh Yadav completed a postgraduate diploma in Finance and Marketing from SIES College of Management Studies, Mumbai. His areas of interest are construction of SAM, input-output tables for India and states and working with large data sets such as Census, NSS (National Sample Survey), and ASI (Annual survey of Industries)