Recent evidence suggests that a significant number of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act workers are not paid at all for their work. An analysis of this phenomenon revealed that the increasing dependence on technology in the implementation of the act is creating new hurdles for wage payments.

A common criticism of the National Rural Employment Guarantee programme is that it does not lead to the creation of permanent assets and a sustained increase in incomes. This fi eld study of the construction of wells in one block in Ranchi district of Jharkhand shows that asset creation under this programme can result in the creation of income-generating assets.

A report from a sample survey of the functioning of the public distribution system in 12 villages in two districts in Orissa, a state usually associated with a poor PDS. While there are errors in exclusion and inclusion of households covered, there has been a vast improvement in operation of the PDS; below the poverty line households seem to be receiving their entitlements. The households also express a strong preference for distribution of grain over cash.