The budget slashed funding under the flagship rural jobs scheme despite a prolonged period of wage cuts that has affected incomes and demand in rural India, particularly for non-farm households. The funding of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) which entitles every family in the countryside to 100 working days per year has been reduced. ₹73,000 crore in 2022-23 (budget estimate, or BE) to ₹60,000 crore in 2023-24 (BE), a decline of 18%.
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