MGNREGA

OCT 30

Preliminary   > Economic Development   >   Indian Economy and Issues   >   Rural development

Why in news?

  • MGNREGA scheme has run out of funds halfway through the financial year, and supplementary budgetary allocations will not come to the rescue for at least another month when the next Parliamentary session begins. This means that payments for MGNREGA workers as well as material costs will be delayed

About MGNREGA

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was enacted in 2005
  • The primary objective of the scheme is to guarantee 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work.

Key features:

  • Legal right to work:
    • The Act provides a legal right to employment for adult members of rural households.
  • Eligibility:
    • Anyone above the age of 18 years, residing in a rural area and willing to do unskilled work can request for job card.
    • Every adult member of a registered household whose name appears in the Job Card shall be entitled to apply for unskilled manual work.
  • Priority for women:
    • At least one third beneficiaries have to be women.
  • Time bound guarantee of work:
    • Employment must be provided with 15 days of being demanded failing which an ‘unemployment allowance’ must be given. At least one-fourth of the minimum wage for the first 30 days, half of the minimum wage thereafter.
  • Decentralized planning:
    • Gram sabhas must recommend the works that are to be undertaken and at least 50% of the works must be executed by them.
    • PRIs (Panchayati Raj Institutions) are primarily responsible for planning, implementation and monitoring of the works that are undertaken.
  • Work site facilities:
    • All work sites should have facilities such as crèches, drinking water and first aid. If the work is provided beyond 5 kms a travel allowance of 10% of the wage needs to be paid.
  • Social audits:
    • Social audits are conducted by gram sabhas to enable the community to monitor the implementation of the scheme.
    • Section 17 (A) gives the right to the citizen to conduct social audit of all works and expenditure incurred under MGNREGA.
  • Funding:
    • Funding is shared between the centre and the states.
    • There are three major items of expenditure – wages (for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled labour), material and administrative costs.
    • The central government bears 100% of the cost of unskilled labour, 75% of the cost of semi-skilled and skilled labour, 75% of the cost of materials and 6% of the administrative costs.
  • Works undertaken:
    • The Act provides a list of works that can be undertaken to generate employment related to water conservation, drought proofing, land development, and flood control and protection works.

PRACTICE QUESTION:

Which of the following statements is not correct regarding MGNREGA?

(a) It provides a legal right to employment for adult members of rural households.

(b) The Act gives the right to the citizen to conduct social audit of all works and expenditure incurred under MGNREGA

(c) The state government bears entire cost of the unskilled labour under the scheme.

(d) The Act mandates that at least one third of the beneficiaries have to be women

Answer