MGNREGA is most innovative Indian programme: Joseph Stiglitz

Bengaluru, July 6 (IANS) The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is the single most innovative programme from India and a lesson to the whole world, said Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz on Wednesday.

“The single most innovative programme from India, lesson for the whole world, it was that programme (MGNREGA),” said Stiglitz in response to a question on how India can minimise or eradicate inequality.

He was speaking on the topic ‘Global Inequlity — Causes and Consequences’ at an interaction organised by Azim Premji University here.

Enacted in 2005, the job guarantee scheme under the MGNREGA aims to enhance the livelihood security of rural people by guaranteeing 100 days of wages in a financial year for adults willing to take up unskilled manual work.

Elaborating on how to curb inequality, the 2001 Economic Sciences Nobel laureate said it is pivotal to generate full employment.

“One of the things most important is employment. And when there are high levels of unemployment, there is inequality,” said Stiglitz, also a professor in the the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York city.

Generating full employment can be facilitated by ensuring rapid overall economy growth, he said.

“Making sure that your overall economy grows at rapid rate is important. That means, not getting overly obsessed about inflation,” he stressed.

“Excessive focus on inflation always inevitably leads to higher levels of unemployment levels and lower growth, and therefore more inequality,” added Stiglitz.

Born in 1943 in Indiana, US, Stiglitz created a new branch in the discipline of Economics called ‘The Economics of Information’, which explores the consequences of asymmetries in information.

–IANS

sth/bim/vt

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