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PRESENTATION FOR THE COURSE
THE RIGHT TO WORK
SHIVRAJ SINGH NEGI
KOMMU VENKATA RAVI SHANKAR
The India State Hunger Index 2008 by the
International Food Policy Research Institute. Percent of population living under
Punjab has the best nutritional the poverty line, which is 356.35
situation, whereas malnutrition in Madhya
rupees or around $7 a month in rural
Pradesh is worse than in Ethiopia or Sudan.
The Employment Guarantee Act is a
step towards the right to work, as
an aspect of the fundamental right
to live with dignity
The “right to life” is a fundamental right of all
citizens under Article 21 of the Indian
“Right to life… includes the right to live with
human dignity, it would include all these
aspects which would make life
meaningful, complete and living.” (Supreme
“The State shall… direct its policy towards
securing that the citizen, men and women
equally, have the right to an adequate means
of livelihood…” (Article 39A)
“The State shall … make effective provision
for securing the right to work…” (Article 41)
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
2005 is a law whereby:
any adult who is willing to do unskilled manual
work at the minimum wage
is entitled to being employed on local public
works within 15 days of applying.
Each State has to launch an
“employment guarantee scheme”
within six months of the Act
coming into force.
Block is the basic unit of implementation.
In each Block, a “Programme Officer” is to
coordinate the implementation of EGS
Gram Panchayats are the main implementing
Accountability to Gram Sabhas.
Gram Panchayats (half of EGS works)
Other Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)
Line departments (PWD, Forest Dept.)
Note: Private contractors are banned.
Programme Officer to maintain shelf of
projects, based on proposals from the
Gram Panchayats also supposed to prepare a
shelf of works based on the
recommendations of the Gram Sabha.
Water conservation, drought
proofing, desilting of tanks, flood
“Any other work which may be notified by
the Central Government in consultation with
the State Government”
Employment to be provided on
demand, within 15 days.
Programme Officer sanctions projects to
ensure that all applicants get work.
Programme Officer to arrange payment of
unemployment allowance to those who don’t
Step 1 (Registration): Gram Panchayat to
“register” interested households, to facilitate
Step 2 (Application): Adult members of
registered households apply for work.
Unit of registration is the household.
Gram Panchayat to issue a “job card” to
Special meeting of Gram Sabha to be
held to invite applications.
Any adult member of a registered
household can apply for work at any
Applications should be for at least 14
days of continuous work.
Advance applications are allowed.
Wage-material ratio should not be
less than 60:40
Wages of skilled and semi-skilled
labourers to be included in material
Central Government to pay for:
75% of material costs, and
some administrative costs.
State governments to pay for:
25% of material costs
other administrative costs,
Registration for Employment.
The adult member of every
House hold who –
Reside in rural area ; and
Are willing to do unskilled
manual work may apply for
registration of their household
for issuance of Job Card.
Within 15 days of receipt of
an application and within a
radius of 5 kms. from their
place of residence
If Employment is not
provided within 15 days of
receipt of his application
he shall be entitled to a daily
One fourth of the wage
For First 30 days
For the remaining
Not less than one half
period of the Financial
of the wage rate
Employment wage +
Equal to the wages for
Unemployment 100 days of work in a
allowance financial year
A person working for 7 hours
would normally earn a wage
equal to a wage rate
Minimum wage fixed by the
state Government under
section 3 of the minimum
Wage rate is fixed by the
Shall not be at a rate of less
than Sixty rupees per day .
Water conservation and Water
and tree plantation)
Provision of irrigation facility to
land owned by
SC/ST/beneficiaries under Indira
Renovation of traditional water
De-silting of tanks
Flood control and
including drainage in
water logged areas
Rural connectivity to
provide all weather
Other works notified by
Sarpanch/ward panch At Gram panchayat
Programme Officer At Block/Tehsil /Taluka
specially for this
GP/PO shall be bound to accept the valid
applications and to issue a dated receipt to the
Gram Panchayat will issue
a Job Card after
Job card containing the
details of adult members
of household such as ;
Names ,age ,address and
Registration will be made
for five years and may be
renewed from time to
Applicants will be
intimated by written letter
and a public notice will be
displayed at the office of
GP and PO.
Priority shall be given to
women and in such a way
that at least one third of
the beneficiaries shall be
Employment shall be provided
within a radius of 5 Kms. from
If Employment is provided
outside 5 Kms., it must be
provided within Block with 10 %
extra wage to meet additional
transportation and living
Safe drinking water
Shade for children and
periods of rest
First-aid Box for
emergency treatment and
Health hazards connected
with work to be provided
Depute one woman worker
to look after five or more
children below the age of six
years of women laborers
Deputed woman shall be
paid wage rate
Equal wages for women and men in
No gender discrimination of any
Priority for women in the allocation
of work: at least 33% of labourers
should be women.
If any person employed under the scheme is or child
accompanying any person injured ; he/she shall be entitled to
free of charge medical treatment
During the period of hospitalization of injured worker
Accommodation, treatment and medicines
Half of the wage per day to be paid to injured person
If a person employed under a scheme
becomes permanent disabled by the accident at
The legal heirs of the deceased or the disabled
shall be paid an ex gratia payment at the rate of
Rs.25000 By the Central government.
The wage under a scheme may be paid
either wholly in cash
or, in cash and kind
But at least one fourth of the wages shall be paid in cash only
All payment of wages in cash and UA shall be made to
concerns in the presence of independent persons of the
community on pre-announced dates.
The disbursement of daily
Weekly basis or in any case not
later than a fort night specified
under the scheme.
Laborers shall be entitled to
receive payment of
compensation as per the
provisions of payment of wages
Identification of projects in
The Gram Panchayat shall
the GP area and prepare a
be responsible for
development plan as
recommended by Gram
Sabha and ward Sabha
Gram Panchayat shall Maintain a shelf of
possible works to be
taken up as and when
demand for work
supervision of such
GP shall forward its
Programme officer (Not
proposals in the order of
below the rank of BDO at block
priority to PO for approvals
PO shall allot at least 50%
works in terms of cost to be
implemented through GP
PO shall supply each GP
MRs for the works
A list of employment
All NREGA-related documents to be available
for public scrutiny.
Copies of documents to be made available at
Muster rolls to be pro-actively displayed at
Documents can also be obtained under the
Right to Information Act.
The Gram Panchayat Shall make available all relevant
s, Sanction orders and other books
of accounts and Paper to the Gram
Sabha for the purpose of social
Gram Sabhas to conduct social audits of all works taken up
within Gram Panchayat
All relevant documents to be provided to the Gram Sabha by
the Gram Panchayat and other implementing agencies
The Gram Sabha Shall monitor the
execution of works within
Shall conduct regular social
audit of all the works done
All efforts should be made to ensure
transparency and accountability
All accounts and records relating to
work shall be made for public scrutiny
A copy of Muster Rolls of every work
shall be made available in the office of
PO and GP for inspection by any
person after paying such fee
The DPO, PO and GP shall prepare
annually report containing the facts and
figures and achievements relating to
scheme within its jurisdiction
All the above documents shall be made
available to the public on demand and on
payment of prescribed fees.
The Scheme shall not permit
engaging any contractor for
implementation the project under
Works under this schemes shall be
performed by using manual labor
and not by machines
The State Government shall makes rules and
regulations to deal with any complaint at block
and the District level
If any dispute or complaint arises the scheme by
GP the matter shall be referred to PO
The PO shall enter every complaint in a
complaint register and shall dispose the disputes
and complaints within 7 days of its receipt.
Employment on demand.
Accountability to PRIs.
Employment within 15 days of application.
Work within 5 kilometres.
Payment within 15 days.
No gender discrimination.
Basic worksite facilities.
Total: 90 crore person-days
Per job card: 24 person-days
Per rural household: 17 person-days
Minimum “requirement”:a 200 crore person-days
a NAC estimate, 2004.
Average Expenditure per Person-Day Rs. 98
Share of Wages in Total Expenditurea 66%
Average Wage Cost per Person-Daya Rs. 64
aUnskilled labour only.
Kerala 121 Jammu & Kashmir 69
Maharashtra 104 Assam 67
Haryana 97 Karnataka 67
Punjab 94 63
Andhra Pradesh 86 Chhattisgarh 63
Jharkhand 80 Madhya Pradesh 59
Tamil Nadu 80 Uttar Pradesh 56
Uttarakhand 72 Gujarat 56
Bihar 70 Orissa 53
West Bengal 70 Rajasthan 51
Himachal Pradesh 69 INDIA 64
a Except Assam (approximate figure, based on incomplete data).
Wage rate (Rs/day)
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Person-days of work per rural household
A field survey of NREGA was recently conducted by the
Centre for Development Economics (CDE) and the Institute
of Human Development (IHD), with students from Delhi
University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Date: May-June 2007
Survey Districts: Ranchi (Jharkhand)
Number of Gram Panchayats: 23
Number of worksites: 47
Most families have a Most of the works are
job card. productive.
Awareness levels Corruption levels have
have improved. gone down.
Employment on a Where there is
massive scale. work, NREGA is a
Minimum wages are lifeline for the rural
being paid. poor.
Contractors have Massive progress
disappeared. compared with earlier
Work is not “demand-driven”.
Long delays in wage payments.
Shortage of staff at all levels.
Poor worksite facilities (e.g. creches).
Violations of the transparency safeguards.
Were most labourers at this worksite employed
in response to an application for work?
Yes 4% 11%
No 96% 89%
Proportion (%) of worksites where:
Most labourers earned
the minimum wage n/a 84
Wages were paid in front
of the labourersa 54 79
Wages were paid within 15 days 32 16
Labourers had complaints
about wage payments 71 90
a Excluding payments through Banks
Proportion (%) of worksites with the following
Drinking water 64 100
Shade for periods of resta 68 (16)
“Medicine kit” 68 59
Crèche 4 11
a Not including natural shade.
Proportion (%) of worksites with:
Vigilance committee 89 84
Active vigilance committee 11 21
Dungarpur, April 2006: (negligible)
Garhwa, October 2006: 85%
a Gram Panchayat works.
Activating the work application process.
Implementation of transparency safeguards
Timely wage payments.
Need for a wage policy.