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Employment Assurance Scheme was launched on 2nd October, 1993 for implementation in 1778 identified backward blocks of different States. The block selected were in the drought prone areas, desert areas, tribal areas and hilly areas. Later, the scheme was extended to the remaining blocks of the country in phased manner. At present, the scheme is being implement in all the rural blocks of the country. The programme has been restructured from 1.4.99.


As its name suggests, the primary objective of the EAS is to provide gainful employment during the lean agricultural season in manual work to all able bodied adults in rural areas who are in need and desirous of work, but cannot find it. The work may be either on farm or on other allied operations or on the normal plan/non-plan works during such a period. The secondary objective is the creation of community, social and economic assets for sustained employment and development.

Target Group

The EAS would be open to all adult rural poor who are in need of wage employment. A maximum of two adults per family (the generally expected number of adults in a family) would be provided wage employment, when there is demand during lean agricultural season, subject to availability of funds.

Salient Features


  • The scheme had Central allocation of Rs.1990.00 crore during 1998-99. Complete Central share had been released to States/UTs. As per reports received upto March, 1999 against total availability of Rs.3357.15 crore, the utilization reported is Rs.2819.76 crore and the employment generated is 4165.31 lakh mandays. Since inception of the scheme, the total number of registered wage seekers is 4.29 crore.
  • Funding pattern

  • The resources under the scheme would be shared between Centre and States in the ratio of 75:25 respectively.
  • Implementing Agency

    Zilla Parishads

    Corrective action taken

    The restructured EAS programme will be implemented from the financial year 1999-2000.