- MGNREGS, under the mandate National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (later renamed as MGNREGA) is a social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. It is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs).
- Under MGNREGS, labour-intensive tasks like creating infrastructure for water harvesting, drought relief and flood control are preferred. Studies showed that wherever MGNREGA is being implemented effectively it is generating multiple environmental benefits, leading to improved water availability, soil fertility and increased crop production. MGNREGA works are also helping reduce soil erosion and increase area under plantations.
- The MGNREGA was initiated with the objective of “enhancing 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”.Another aim of MGNREGA is to create durable assets (such as roads, canals, ponds, wells).
- Apart from providing economic security and creating rural assets, NREGA is known to help in protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural-urban migration and fostering social equity, among others.
GRAM PANCHAYAT (GP)
At the GP level, the following dedicated personnel are required:
- i) Gram Rozgar Sahayak or Employment Guarantee Assistant to assist the Gram Panchayat (GP) in executing MGNREGA works at GP level.
- ii) Mates or work site supervisors are required for each work-site. At least one mate should be present for every fifty workers.
Human resources at this level, led by the Programme Officer, will consist, inter alia of
(i) Technical Assistant
(ii) Computer Operator-cum-Accounts Clerk,
(iii) Voluntary Technical Corps and the
(iv) Cluster Facilitation Team.
- Each Block, depending on the workload, may appoint a full-time dedicated Programme Officer (PO) for Mahatma Gandhi NREGA. The PO is the overall in-charge of all MGNREGS works in the Block
- A Block Resource Centre (BRC) will be set up as a resource and facilitation centre for knowledge inputs, capacity building and convergence.
- A full-time Additional DPC exclusively appointed for MGNREGS should look into the day-to-day operations of MGNREGS and provide leadership in programme implementation at the district level.
- The District Collector or Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad is designated as District Programme Coordinator (DPC) for the implementation of MGNREGS. The DPC shall be responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the Scheme in the District in accordance with the provisions of the Act and guidelines issued by the Government from time to time.
- A District-level Technical Committee (DTC) will be set up to guide the implementation of the Act.
- VTCs may be set up at the Cluster and District level drawing specialist volunteers from educational/ academic institutions, civil society organizations and the citizens
- State governments may establish a State Employment Guarantee Mission (SEGM) with adequate operational flexibility and autonomy to support the Panchayati Raj Institutions and other implementing agencies.
- A National Management Team (NMT) will be set up within the Department of Rural Development to perform the national-level functions under MGNREGA.
- Programme Management Division (PMD) extends need based technical assistance to States.
- In addition, at the central level, Human Resource Development & Capacity Building Division, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (of NMT), IT Division, Social Audit, Vigilance and Grievance Redressal Division are present.
The following activities are funded by the central government:
- Full i.e. 100% wages of the unskilled labours
- 75% of the wages of skilled and semi-skilled labour, along with 75% cost of material used.
- All the expenses of the central employment guarantee council.
- Administrative expenses.
The following activities are funded by the state government:
- Unemployment wages
- 25% of the wages of skilled and semi-skilled along with 25% cost of material used.
- All the expenses of the state employment guarantee council.
Fund distribution in NREGA happens in the following manner:
- An online proposal for release of funds will be submitted by the state government and after its approval by the Central Government, the fund will be transferred to them. Two half-yearly sanctions are done by the Ministry.
- The State Governments will further release the funds to the State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF).
- SEGF will then transfer the funds to different districts, after assessing the demand from the State Fund reserves for different MGNREGA projects and works.
- The e-FMS will record information related to all the expenses and wages that are to be incurred on the project.
- Any adult who belongs to a registered rural household, and holds a job card is eligible to apply for employment under the MNREGA scheme. Workers should submit their applications either in written statements or orally to a Ward member or any MNREGA official with all the details.
- There is a provision of daily unemployment allowance to an applicant, if employment has not been given within fifteen days of making the application. As per Section 7 of the MGNREGA,, the unemployment allowance that has to be paid will be less than 1/4th of the wage for the first 39 days. It should not be lesser than ½ of the wage rate for the rest of the financial year.