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Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee: A rural wage employment programme in India is called Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee. It guarantees rural households with adult members who are willing to perform unskilled manual labour at a predetermined minimum wage rate at least 100 days of unpaid employment in a fiscal year. In collaboration with state governments, the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) of the Indian government is overseeing the full implementation of this programme.
Its objective is to create wage work possibilities in order to improve the livelihood security of rural impoverished people; to develop a rural asset base that will improve viable employment opportunities and boost and sustain a rural household income.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee History
The P.V. Narashima Rao government suggested a pilot programme in 1991 with the following objectives to create employment in rural areas – Creation of farm labour employment during the lean season, Building Infrastructure and Improved Food Security. Prior to its merger with the Food for Work Programme in the early 2000s, the MGNREGA plan was known as the Employment Assurance Plan. The Overview of it has been mentioned below in the table
|Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee|
|MGNREGA Full Form||Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act|
|Constitutional Provision||Article 41 – State shall secure the right to work, education and public assistance in certain cases such as unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement.|
|Legal Backing of MGNREGA||Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005|
|When the MGNREGA Scheme officially launched?||On 2nd February 2006.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was passed on 23rd August 2005
|What was MGNREGA earlier called?||It was known to be (NREGA) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act|
|Number of Districts covered under the MGNREGA Scheme?||As of 11th February 2021; 708 districts are covered|
|Key Stakeholders under MGNREGA||
|Mandate of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS||Provision of at least 100 days of work that provides guaranteed wage in a financial year|
|MGNREGA Official Website||https://nrega.nic.in/netnrega/home.aspx|
MGNREGA Key Features
- Legal Right to Work: In contrast to previous job guarantee projects, the Act grants adult members of rural households a legal right to employment. At least one-third of the recipients must be women.
- Wages: Unless the central government announces a pay rate, wages will be paid in accordance with the minimum wages established under the state’s Minimum Wages Act of 1948 for agricultural employees. (This shouldn’t be less than Rs 60 per day). Currently, state-specific wage rates are determined by the federal government.
- Wage Material Ratio: The minimum wage-to-materials ratio required by the Act is 60:40. In 2016–17, the average daily pay per person was Rs 161.
- Decentralised planning: Gramme Sabhas are required to recommend projects to be executed and to execute at least half of them. Pris is primarily in charge of planning, carrying out, and supervising the completed projects.
- Transparency and accountability: Proactive disclosure methods include wall writings, citizen information boards, management information systems, and social audits. Gramme Sabhas conducts social audits to allow the community to monitor how the programme is being carried out.
- Funding: The cost of funding is shared by the federal government and the states. The three basic types of expenses are wages (for unskilled, semiskilled, and skilled labour), material costs, and administrative costs.
- Guarantee of employment with a time limit and payment of an unemployment benefit: If employment cannot be found within 15 days of a request, a “unemployment benefit” must be paid.
- Worksite facilities: All work sites should have facilities such as crèches, drinking water and first aid.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Significance
- Empowerment of vulnerable groups includes widespread participation by women and members of historically underprivileged groups like Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs/STs). Women provide 47% of all person-days, and SCs/STs make up 51% of all person-days.
- Poverty reduction: While the poor have used it as a way to escape poverty, those who are less poor have used it as a way to supplement their income by working during lean agricultural seasons.
- Distress migration has been significantly reduced because to MGNREGA, which has a very favourable effect on disadvantaged households.
- Even better schooling for kids living in MGNREGA households is suggested by certain studies.
- Employment creation: Since the program’s launch in 2006, it has changed the composition of the rural labour market. By acquiring job cards as part of this scheme, rural households were given the opportunity to generate a small income.
- Wage growth: By raising wages in rural areas, India’s rural areas would have more purchasing power.
- Push for the rural economy: Developing infrastructure assets to support the rural economy.
- Financial inclusion: Since payments under the scheme are now largely made through direct transfers into beneficiary accounts, 10 crore new bank or post office accounts have been opened as a result. Indirectly, the programme has helped households escape the grip of neighbourhood payday lenders.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Challenges
- Ridiculously low wage rate
- Inadequate budgetary allocation
- Impact on urban sectors
- Demand-supply mismatch in work allocation
- Delay in payment of wages
- Non-payment of unemployment allowances
- Ineffectiveness of local bodies
- Workers penalised for administrative lapses