- About MGNREGA
- Eligibility criteria
- Key facts Roles of gram panchayat
- Implementation Status
- Activities covered under MGNREGA
- The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is Indian legislation enacted on August 25, 2005.
- The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments.
- This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living below poverty line in rural India.
- It attempts to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in the country.
- Roughly one-third of the stipulated work force must be women.
- Adult members of rural households submit their name, age and address with photo to the Gram Panchayat.
- The Gram Panchayat registers households after making enquiry and issues a job card.
- The job card contains the details of adult member enrolled and his /her photo.
- Registered person can submit an application for work in writing (for at least fourteen days of continuous work) either to Panchayat or to Programme Officer.
- The Panchayat/Programme officer will accept the valid application and issue dated receipt of application, letter providing work will be sent to the applicant and also displayed at Panchayat office.
- The employment will be provided within a radius of 5 km: if it is above 5 km extra wage will be paid.
- Must be Citizen of India to seek MGNREGA benefits.
- Job seeker has completed 18 years of age at the time of application.
- The applicant must be part of a local household (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayat).
- Applicant must volunteer for unskilled labour.
- MGNREGA guarantees hundred days of wage employment in a financial year, to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
- Individual beneficiary oriented works can be taken up on the cards of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, small or marginal farmers or beneficiaries of land reforms or beneficiaries under the Indira Awaas Yojana of the Government of India.
- Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.
- Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.
- Receipt of wages within fifteen days of work done.
- Variety of permissible works which can be taken up by the Gram Panchayaths.
- MGNREGA focuses on the economic and social empowerment of women.
- MGNREGA provides “Green” and “Decent” work.
- Social Audit of MGNREGA works is mandatory, which lends to accountability and transparency.
- MGNREGA works address the climate change vulnerability and protect the farmers from such risks and conserve natural resources.
- The Gram Sabha is the principal forum for wage seekers to raise their voices and make demands.
- It is the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat which approves the shelf of works under MGNREGA and fix their priority.
Roles of Gram Panchayat
- Receiving applications for registration
- Verifying registration applications
- Registering households
- Issuing Job Cards (JCs)
- Receiving applications for work
- Issuing dated receipts for these applications for work
- Allotting work within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought in the case of an advance application.
- Identification and planning of works, developing shelf of projects including determination of the order of their priority.
- The scheme was introduced in 200 districts during financial year 2006-07 and 130 districts during the financial year 2007-08.
- In April 2008 NREGA expanded to entire rural area of the country covering 34 States and Union Territories, 614 Districts, 6,096 Blocks and 2.65 lakhs Gram Panchayat.
- The scheme now covers 648 Districts, 6,849 Blocks and 2,50,441 Gram Panchayats in the financial year 2015-16.
Activities covered under MGNREGA
- Permissible activities as stipulated in Para 1 of Schedule-I of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA are as under:
- Union Rural Development Ministry has notified works under MGNREGA, majority of which are related to agricultural and allied activities, besides the works that will facilitate rural sanitation projects in a major way.
- The works have been divided into 10 broad categories like Watershed, Irrigation and Flood management works, Agricultural and Livestock related works, Fisheries and works in coastal areas and the Rural Drinking water and Sanitation related works.
- Briefing the MGNREGA 2.0 (the second generation reforms for the rural job scheme) the priority of the works will be decided by the Gram Panchayats in meetings of the Gram Sabhas and the Ward Sabhas.
- The Rural development also informed that the 30 new works being added in the Schedule 1 will also help the Rural sanitation projects, as for the first time toilet building, soak pits and solid and liquid waste management have been included under MGNREGA.
- Though the overall 60:40 ratio of labour and material component will be maintained at the Gram Panchayat level but there will be some flexibility in the ratio for certain works based on the practical requirements.
- Construction of AWC building has been included as an approved activity under the MGNREG Act.
- ‘Guidelines for construction of Anganwadi Centres’ under MGNREGS have been issued jointly by Secretary, WCD and Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, on 13th August, 2015.
- Under MGNREGS, expenditure up to Rs.5 lakh per AWC building for construction will be allowed.
- Expenditure beyond Rs. 5 lakh per AWC including finishing, flooring, painting, plumbing, electrification, wood work, etc. will be met from the ICDS funds.
- For most rural workers dependent on the MGNREGS, their labour does not end at the work site.
- Many of them are forced to make multiple trips to the bank, adding travel costs and income losses, and face repeated rejections of payment, biometric errors and wrong information, just to get their hands on their wages.
- Even in regular times, these last mile challenges make it hard for workers to access their own wages in a timely manner.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation is exacerbated as transport becomes harder, and there is no question of physical distancing at a rural bank.