From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : MGNREGA
Mains level : Issues in MGNREGA
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) faces a negative net balance of Rs. 8,686 crores, including payments due.
- It stands for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 2005.
- This is labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘Right to Work’.
- The act was first proposed in 1991 by P.V. Narasimha Rao.
The objectives of the MGNREGA are:
- To enhance the livelihood security of the rural poor by generating wage employment opportunities.
- To create a rural asset base that would enhance productive ways of employment, augment and sustain a rural household income.
Features of MGNREGA
- MGNREGA is unique in not only ensuring at least 100 days of employment to the willing unskilled workers, but also in ensuring an enforceable commitment on the implementing machinery i.e., the State Governments, and providing a bargaining power to the labourers.
- The failure of provision for employment within 15 days of the receipt of job application from a prospective household will result in the payment of unemployment allowance to the job seekers.
- Employment is to be provided within 5 km of an applicant’s residence, and minimum wages are to be paid.
- Thus, employment under MGNREGA is a legal entitlement.
News: MGNREGS runs out of fund
- The MGNREGS has run out of funds halfway through the financial year.
- Supplementary budgetary allocations will not come until the next Parliamentary session begins.
Implications on laborers
- Delayed payment: Due to this, payments for MGNREGA workers as well as material costs will be delayed, unless States dip into their own funds.
- Livelihood loss: MGNREGA data shows that 13% of households who demanded work under the scheme were not provided work.
- Halt of work: Many workers are simply turned away by officials when they demand work, without their demand being registered at all.
- Fall in demands: This has led to stop the generation of work. There is an artificial squeezing of demand.
Why has MGNREGS acquired so much importance?
- The MGNREGA, a demand-driven scheme, has provided many returnees relief during the covid imposed a lockdown for a year.
- During last year’s COVID-19 lockdown it has provided a critical lifeline for a record 11 crore workers.
Try this PYQ:
Q. Which principle among the following was added to the Directive Principles of State Policy by the 42nd Amendment to the constitution?
(a) Equal pay for equal work for both men and women
(b) Participation of workers in the management of industries
(c) Right to work, education and public assistance
(d) Securing living wage and human conditions of work to workers
Post your answers here.
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