The unmet demand for MGNREGS work
#GS 02 Social Justice
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was launched on 2nd February 2006 under the MGNREG Act.
- Its aim 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.
- 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.
Provisions of MGNREGS:
- Unlike previous employment guarantee schemes, MGNREGS aims at tackling the root causes of poverty by creating a rights–based framework which will also help to improve public infrastructure.
- The statutory obligations of MGNREGS says that 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.
Budgetary allocation for MGNREGS
- The Budgetary allocation for MGNREGA in the 2023-24 is ₹60,000 crore which is less than 0.2% of the GDP, the lowest ever allocation as a percentage of GDP.
- World Bank has estimated that the allocation should be 1.6% of the GDP.
- The next financial year as per estimates will begin with pending wages of ₹15,000 crore.
- Accounting for inflation, in real terms, the allocation for MGNREGA calculated will be less than ₹45,000 crore.
- People’s Action for Employment Guarantee and NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has provided an estimate of ₹2.72 lakh crore as the minimum budget required for the scheme.
- There is evidence that wage payment delays in the scheme are caused by inadequate allocations.
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