The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is an Indian law introduced on
5th september’2005, that aims to guarantee the 'right to
work' and ensure 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.
a. Strong social safety net for the vulnerable groups by
providing a fall-back employment source, when other
employment alternatives are scarce or inadequate
b. Growth engine for sustainable development of an agricultural
economy. Through the process of providing employment on
works that address causes of chronic poverty such as drought,
deforestation and soil erosion, the Act seeks to strengthen the
natural resource base of rural livelihood and create durable
assets in rural areas. Effectively implemented, NREGA has the
potential to transform the geography of poverty
c. Empowerment of rural poor through the processes of a
d. New ways of doing business, as a model of governance
reform anchored on the principles of transparency and grass
i) Adult members of a rural household willing to participate, apply for
registration either orally or in written to Gram Panchayat and after
verfication they’ll be provided with a Job Card within 15 days(must be)
with proper photographs of the members willing, free of cost!
ii) Employment will be given within 15 days of application for work, if it is not
then daily unemployment allowance as per the Act, has to be paid liability of
payment of unemployment allowance is of the States.
iii) Work should ordinarily be provided within 5 km radius of the village. In
case work is provided beyond 5 km, extra wages of 10% are payable to
meet additional transportation and living expenses.
iv) Wages are to be paid according to the Minimum Wages Act 1948 for
agricultural laborers in the State, unless the Centre notifies a wage rate
which will not be less than Rs. 60/ per day. Equal wages will be provided to
both men and women.
v) Wages are to be paid according to piece rate or daily rate. Disbursement
of wages has to be done on weekly basis and not beyond a fortnight in any
vi) At least one-third beneficiaries shall be women who have registered and
requested work under the scheme.
vii) Work site facilities such as crèche, drinking water, shade have to be
viii) Permissible works predominantly include water and soil
conservation, forestation and land development works. No contractors and
machinery is allowed.
ix) A 60:40 wage and material ratio has to be maintained.
x) The Central Government bears the 100 percent wage cost of unskilled
manual labor and 75 percent of the material cost including the wages of skilled
and semi skilled workers
Adult members of a rural household, willing to do unskilled manual
work, may apply for registration in writing or orally to the local Gram
After verification by gram panchayat, they issue a job card which
bear the photograph of all the adult member of household.
Job Card should be issued within 15 days of application. Job Card
holder may submit a written application for employment to the
Gram Panchayat will issue a receipt of the written
application, which give guaranteed job within 15 days.
If job is not given within 15 days then daily unemployment
allowance as per the Act, has to be paid.
Work should be within 5 km radius of the village. If not then extra
wages of 10% should be given.
Wages should not be less than RS.60/day and it is different for
1. Flood control and protection works including
drainage in water logged areas.
2. Rural connectivity to provide all weather access .
3. Water conservation and Water harvesting
4. .Drought proofing(A-forestation and tree
5. Irrigation canals.
6. Provision of irrigation facility to land owned by
SC/ST/beneficiaries under Indira Aawas-Yozna .
7. Renovation of traditional water bodies De-silting
of tanks .
8. Land development
Maximizing Work Opportunities:
Livelihood Security :
Under NREGA ,in 2008-09 4.5 crore households were provided employment and
216.01 crore persondays were generated. In FY 200910 upto July, 2.53 crore households were provided work and
87.09 crore persondays were generated.
NREGA has provided employment particularly for marginalized groups. The
participation percentages were 55% (SC/ST) in 2008-09 and 53% (SC/ST) upto July,
2009. Women workforce participation has also surpassed the statutory minimum
requirement of 33 per cent. In FY 08-09, women participation was 48%, which has
increased to 52% upto in 2009-10 (upto July, 09).
Augmenting household income, savings and
Post-NREGA, there has been a revision of minimum wages across the country in
last three years, and the average daily wage rate has increased from Rs. 75 to Rs 87
in 2009-10 (upto July, 2009)
Over 7.33 crore NREGA bank and post office accounts have been opened so
far. These accounts have helped bring the rural poor under the organized
banking sector. This will not only infuse integrity in wage payment, but also
bring the most vulnerable people in rural India into formal banking and credit
Regenerating Natural Resources:
Under NREGA water and soil conservations, plantation
and afforestation has been given priority. Works relating to drought
proofing and flood protection are aimed to provide resistance to climate
shocks and natural disasters.
NREGA has the potential to diminish the adverse impact of drought
by placing purchasing power in the hands of the peoples. Advisories
were issued to all 11 drought affected states to ensure that
adequate funds and shelf of project have been made available to
problems in terms of caste discrimination.
Uniform distribution of job cards is a time consuming
process and leads to dissatisfaction.
Illegal charges levied on people for application
Non-issuance of receipts to applicants.
Unavailability of necessary facilities at the work
Improper maintenance of attendance of the
Payments of wages delayed.
Measurement of work done by the workers a major
Inadequate number of officials for the scheme.
Delay in appointments of officials in the villages.
Another issue is that of fake muster rolls & bills being
In some states where the programme has been a
great failure till now , the center can take the
responsibility of implementation.
ii. There must be a nodal agency as a watchdog to
overview performance of programme.
iii. Emphasis should not be only on the employment
generation, rather it must focus on permanent
iv. The projects must be decided on the basis of
suggestions given by local people as far as
v. Instead of 100 days of work per household, it
should provide 100 days of work per adult
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