Poll-bound states—West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, and Kerala—have recorded dramatic increases in job numbers under theMahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act (MGNREGA). In the fiscal ending March 2016, 235.16 crore person-days were generated across the country, the Indian Express reports.

West Bengal records a 69 percent jump with 28.66 crore people being employed in the year ending in March 2016, from 2014-15.

Tamil Nadu has emerged as the leading state for employment generation with 36.61 crore people coming under the ambit of the MGNREGA—this is, however, lower than 2012-13 figures, where 40.81 crore people were employed.

In Assam, there has been a 134 percent increase in job creation, with 4.93 crore person-days of work was created. This, again, is lower than the state’s all-time high of 7.51 crore achieved in 2008-09.

Kerala showed improvement in 2015-16 while officials maintain that the state has a generally good record of implementation of the scheme.

Drought-hit states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat feature at the bottom of the list. Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh are among the best performers in the implementation of the scheme.

Prior to elections, state governments are usually more responsive towards the employment act, to the extent that states will fund the programme from its own pocket if the Centre does not spend funds for it.

MGNREGA was first introduced by the UPA government; the centrally-sponsored scheme provides 100 days of guaranteed unskilled manual work in a year to every rural household.

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