What is MGNREGA?
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to release all the outstanding and necessary funds for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment...
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to release all the outstanding and necessary funds for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme to the States and directed it to pay compensation for delayed wages to the farmers in drought-affected areas.
"Government can't hide behind a smokescreen for lack of finances," the court said. A bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and NV Ramana directed the States to appoint commissioners for effective implementation of provisions of National Food Security Act and strengthening of public distribution system especially in drought-hit areas. The bench also directed the government to set up Central Employment Guarantee Council as envisaged in the statute and to ensure compensation for crop loss in such areas.
The MGNREGA was notified in September 7, 2005 is a law whereby any adult who applies for employment in rural areas has to be given work on local public works within 15 days. If employment is not given, an unemployment allowance has to be paid. The central government has increased the number of workdays under the rural job guarantee scheme from 100 to 150 in drought-affected areas.
More than 64 per cent of the works taken up under the programme are linked to agriculture and allied activities. MGNREGA works must always belong to the list of ‘Permissible Works’. A summary of the list of the following permissible works: 1. Water Conservation and water harvesting; 2. Drought proofing (including afforestation and tree plantation); 3. Irrigation canal including micro and minor irrigation works; 4. Provision of irrigation facility,plantation,horticulture,land development to land owned by household belonging to SC/ST, or to the land of beneficiaries of land reforms, or to land of the beneficiaries IAY/BPL families; 5. Renovation of traditional water bodies including de-silting of tanks; 6. Land development; 7. Flood control and protection works including drainage in water logged areas; 8. Rural Connectivity to provide all weather access; 9. Any other work which may be notified by the central Government in consultation with the State Government; and 10. Construction of Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra and “Gram Panchayat Bhawan.
State-wise wages for unskilled workers ranges from Rs 167 to Rs 259. Wage rate approved for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is Rs 194. The NDA government increased allocation for the scheme by over Rs 3,800 crore to Rs 38,500 crore in 2016-17.