Delays mar MGNREGS Social Audits
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was enacted on 23rd August 2005 and it guarantees 100 days of employment, every financial year to rural households.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was launched on 2nd February 2006 under the MGNREGA Act 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.
- It also aims to create durable assets in rural areas such as wells, ponds, roads and canals.
- MGNREGS can help reduce migration from rural areas to urban areas, thereby reducing the population stress felt by major cities in India.
- Unlike previous employment guarantee schemes, MGNREGA aims at directly tackling the root causes of poverty by creating a rights-based framework which also helps to improve public infrastructure.
- It also has statutory obligations which says at least one-third of beneficiaries have to be women.
- The minimum wages specified for agricultural labourers in the state under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 must be paid to workers under MGNREGA.
- Employment must be provided to the applicant within 15 days of the application.
- Works conducted under MGNREGS must undergo social audit
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) is the implementing agency for MGNREGS.
The Eligibility criteria:
- The applicant must be a citizen of India.
- They must have completed 18 years of age at the time of application.
- The applicant must be part of a local household in a rural area.
What are the concerns regarding MGNREGS
- According to a report titled ‘Social audit calendar vs audits completed’ released by the MoRD, only 14.29% of the planned audits have been completed in this financial year.
- This is mainly due to the fact that the Social Audit Units of many States had not received the administrative funds that owed by the government, and whatever little has come about has been delayed.
- According to a periodic report on social audits by the non-profit People’s Action For Employment Guarantee eight State Social Audit Units in 2020-21, and nine in 2021-22, have received less than half of the fund to which they are entitled.
- This results in near paralysis of the social auditing structure.
Source The Hindu
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