What is the lowdown on MGNREGA funding?

  1. The Centre’s flagship rural job guarantee scheme (MGNREGA) got its highest ever allocation of Rs 60,000 crore in the interim Budget 2019-20 but less than the sum of budgetary and supplementary allocation of funds for last year.
  2. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is the largest social security scheme in the world that guarantees 100 days of unskilled manual work to all rural households in India.
  3. If work is not provided within 15 days, applicants are entitled to an employment allowance.Thus, work is a legal entitlement under the scheme and funding should be demand-driven.
  4. A fundamental problem with the scheme is that (a)there is a widening gap between demand and supply of work (b) workers are often not paid the full wages due to lack of funds.