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NREGA Policy and Programmatic Pointers 110610
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NREGA Policy and Programmatic Pointers 110610


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  • 1. NREGA 2005 Operational Guidelines 2008 - Policy and Programmatic Pointers Jitesh Panda Vrutti Livelihoods Resource Centre 11 June 2010
  • 2. In Black Font: Extracts from NREGA Operational Guidelines 2008 In Blue Font: Feedback and Suggestions
  • 3. Objective of NREGA…. 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
  • 4. Objectives of NREGA… NREGA relates to Entitlement Demand focused but implemented in target driven supply mode Household Focuses on whole HH not specific to Male or Female Unskilled Manual Work Unskilled Wage Earners keen on graduating to take up Skill Work In era of mechanization, it is not logical to do hard unskilled Manual Work
  • 5. Goals of NREGA…. Social Safety Net – A fall back employment source May be working at GP/Area level Employment scenarios vary with HH/Individual NREGA is yet to be HH/Individual focused Influence regular source of employment source In many places, increase in wage rate has led to unavailability of labour for agriculture production Growth Engine for Sustainable Development of Agriculture Economy Assets developed at community level; Benefits land owners Most of the wage seekers have no/little agriculture land
  • 6. Goals of NREGA…. Rights based approach to Empowerment Demand led rights based approach requires time; However, orientation of implementation is on achieving target of wage creation, more so when there is no target under Act Institutional mechanism to facilitate expression of demand not in place Model of Governance – principles of transparency and grassroots democracy Has made a difference at GP level; Need to move further to Village and HH level
  • 7. Salient Features of NREGA… Submit written application for employment Most wage earners are illiterate; Facilitation support generally not available Need to state time and duration for which work is sought Difficult for Wage seekers to predict when their regular work would resume; As wage rate is higher, they take risk and go for maximum opportunity; At times disturbs the regular labor market, local agriculture production
  • 8. Salient Features of NREGA… Minimum days of employment to be fourteen In some cases, during agriculture season, it is difficult to think of minimum 14 days Work to be provided within 5 Kms of village Most wage seekers prefer to work in own or neighboring village Wages to be paid as per Minimum Wage Act 1948 In most cases Minimum Wage is higher than market rate; and thus distort to regular livelihood activities Being Entitlement oriented, demand driven; the wage need to be lower than prevailing market rate
  • 9. Salient Features of NREGA… Equal Wage for Men and Women In practice difficult to execute; when work is undertaken in group and paid on piece rate basis Weekly disbursement of Wage Most Wage Seekers expect wage on daily basis At least 1/3rd of beneficiary need to be women As it is 100 days per HH; Always preference for male to go out for work and then female goes Distinction may be made at HH level
  • 10. Salient Features of NREGA… Wage on piece rate basis Many a times work out to be lower that minimum wage Issues related accurate and timely measurement Work recommended by Gram Sabha; Approved by Zilla Panchyat Limited scope for Individual Work Scope for further decentralization in decision making process Social Audit by Gram Sabha Could be done by Palli Sabha; Need for facilitating Agency
  • 11. Key Stakeholders…. Wage seekers Gram Sabha PRIs, specially the Gram Panchayat Inadequate capacity – institutional and technical Programme Officer at the block level District Programme Coordinator State Government Ministry of Rural Development NGOs not viewed as Key Stakeholder NGOs could facilitate mobilization of demand for NREGA
  • 12. Communication of NREGA… The State Government should draw upan IEC Plan Focus on communication through TV, radios, films, print media Need to be decentralized Possibility of involvement of local NGOs could be explored Besides communication – hand holding facilitation is required; As most job seekers are illiterate
  • 13. Development Plan for NREGA… Covers Assessment of labour demand Identification of works to meet the estimated labour demand Estimated Cost of works and wages Benefits expected in terms of employment generated and physical improvements (water conservation, land productivity) Focus on District Perspective Plan Need linkage with other District Level Plans Need to have Village Perspective Plan with clarity on Individual Job Seeker HH Plan Overall may relate to livelihood promotion perspective/aspiration at different level – Individual, HH, Village, GP, Block and district Thrust may be on individual/HH work and then on higher level
  • 14. Permissible Works under NREGA… Water conservation and water harvesting Drought proofing, including afforestation and tree plantation Irrigation canals, including micro and minor irrigation works Provision of irrigation facility, plantation, horticulture, land development to land owned by households belonging to the SC/ST, or to land of the beneficiaries of land reforms, or to land of the beneficiaries under the Indira Awas Yojana/BPL families Scope related to this may be broadened to include all Job Seekers
  • 15. Permissible Works under NREGA… Renovation of traditional water bodies, including de-silting of tanks; Land development; Flood-control and protection works, including drainage in waterlogged areas; Rural connectivity to provide all-weather access Most of works are community level works benefitting agriculture land owners
  • 16. Monitoring… Gram Sabha will monitor all the works at the village level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee (VMC) from amongst Gram Sabha - for every Work Need for a Facilitating Agency – may be NGO Need for outsourced Concurrent Monitoring Agency at block level
  • 17. Evaluation…. District-wise studies to be conducted or commissioned by the State Employment Guarantee Council Block-wise evaluation studies should be conducted or commissioned by the District Programme Coordinator SEGC should seek the association of research institutions of repute with this process. All evaluation agencies should be approved by SEGC Need for Annual Evaluation Studies at GP level; As GP is the key planning and implementation unit Need for District focused Outsourced Evaluation agency for about 3 years
  • 18. Social Audit… As a means of continuous public vigilance Social Audit viewed in broader sense from planning to the implementation, monitoring and evaluation In practice, it looks at post implementation phase NGOs facilitate Social Audit
  • 19. Convergence… Convergence of the NREGA funds with funds from other sources for the creation of durable assets is permissible NREGA funds do not substitute for resources from other sectors or schemes NREGA fund share intended to create additional employment; this will not happen if the employment currently generated by other programmes is displaced by the NREGS There has been thrust on convergence In practice, NREGA funds is considered as programme fund for other Departments
  • 20. Overall Reflection Points…. Considering guarantee of Unskilled Manual Work in era of mechanization as entitlement Wage under NREGA being higher than market rate, when it is viewed from entitlement perspective; and is likely to distort the market (particularly long term agriculture production) Implementation of NREGA be target/ supply driven when the Act focuses on entitlement and being demand driven Possibility of involvement of NGOs as Facilitation Agencies; besides facilitating Social Audit Focusing on planning and implementation of works that benefit the “Beneficiary/Wage Seeking HHs”
  • 21. Thank you