New Delhi: Marking the completion of four years of the United Progressive Alliance government’s rural employment guarantee scheme, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday admitted there were some “lapses" in its implementation, including the problem of payment of wages to workers.

Gains and losses: Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi at the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan in New Delhi on Tuesday. Subhav Shukla / PTI

Singh said though the country had faced a very difficult economic situation last year coupled with scanty rainfall, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) helped in providing jobs to the rural poor and reduced the impact of global meltdown and drought situation on the rural poor.

“Several chief ministers said that (the) national rural employment programme helped our poor people in rural areas to a great extent in facing the problems," the Prime Minister said at the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan, marking four years of the scheme that provided employment to more than 40 million households in the current fiscal.

The Prime Minister said there have been several achievements in the implementation of the programme but noted there was a problem in the payment of wages to workers. He said the government was trying to improve the payment of wages through banks and post offices.