Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme

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News:Government has planned to link MGNREGA scheme wages to an updated inflation index.This is aimed at increasing wages and reviving rural demand.

Facts:

What is MGNREGA?

  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is an employment guarantee act
  • It was introduced in 2005 through the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,2005.

Objective:

  • The Act aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

Implementation:

  • Ministry of Rural Development (MRD),Government of India in association with state governments monitors the implementation of the scheme.

Features of the act:

  • Demand driven scheme:Worker to be hired when he demands and not when the Government wants it.
  • Gram Panchayat is mandated to provide employment within 15 days of work application failing which worker is entitled to unemployment allowance
  • Payment of wages within 15 days of competition of work failing which worker is entitled to delay compensation of 0.05%/ day of wages earned.

Concerns with the scheme:

  • Insufficient budget allocation
  • Poor wages rate
  • Delay in wage payments
  • Fabrication of job cards:Payments to fictitious workers
  • Ineffective grievance redressal
  • Large number of incomplete work
  • Poor quality of assets created.

Measures to be taken:

  • Proper and timely allocation of funds
  • Ensuring minimum wages for workers
  • Effective monitoring of projects
  • Ensuring employment to rural households as per demand for work.
  • Proper job card verification
  • Ensuring efficient grievance redressal mechanism.