- As one of the recipients of this scheme famously said "Are our tummies on vacation the remaining 265 days?" What is the rationale behind 100 days per one member of family?
- Providing work that required unskilled labor is essentially a welfare scheme. It is not promoting the skill sets of that targeted population. Its the classic case of "give them fish, rather than teach them to fish". Potentially the same money can be spent at every Panchayat level to provide training in skills that will lead the population towards economic independence and dignity.
- As many social audits across the districts where the scheme is being implemented show, the muster rolls are largely fudged, corruption accounts for a huge drain on this money, and a very small percentage of the money actually trickles down to the intended recipient. In fact, Rajiv Gandhi, when he was the Prime Minister, famously admitted that only 15% of government spending manages to reach the recipient. The rest is wastage. A similar Employment Guarantee Scheme tried out in Maharashtra in 1976 had already fallen victim to this atrocious Public Distribution System. In fact, the Indian government does not have any evidence of being capable of properly implementing any social welfare scheme.
A possible counter-argument of course is that while all this is happening, people are starving. Maybe a combination of some scheme with a larger solution in tow is probably what is recommended. However, the government seems intent on earning hearsay goodwill (read votes, and support of left-parties) by implementing only the welfare schemes, and the bureaucracy is happy to implement the scheme with its 85% drain on many crores of rupees!