Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

The importance of MGNREGA:

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or MGNREGA, one of the largest work guarantee programmes in the world, can prove to be the key ingredient to drive the workforce towards employment especially now when the pandemic has been the cause of massive loss of livelihood. The workforce, of nearly 400 million in the sector, has become one of the worst affected sectors of the society in this pandemic.

A large part of the workers has reverse migrated to the rural areas. The government last year, allocated 40,000 crores funds to MGNREGA under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. If administered effectively, this might be a solution to the increasing migrant worker crisis.

The importance of MGNREGA:


The main objective of this scheme was to ensure people’s right to work. It guarantees 100 days of work in every financial year to the adult members of the rural families who are willing to participate in unskilled manual work related to public work. With the stark difference with the earlier employment schemes,

Two key points are:

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 20o5 depends on a rights-based framework. Wages must be paid in compliance with the statutory minimum wages specifically for Agriculture laborer’s under the Minimum Wages Act of 1948.

At least one-third of workers must be women. The MGNREGA provides the guarantee of getting work within 15 days of demanding it. The Panchayat Raj institutions also have a significant role in implementing this scheme.

But for this policy to work, underlying issues must be addressed. Lack of funds is a big issue in this case. The allocated 0.47 per cent of the GDP continues to be much lower the World Bank recommended 1.7 per cent. Hence it becomes very difficult for the state governments to ensure the optimal functioning of the scheme as inadequate funds lead to the inability to meet the employment demand. It also causes a delay in the wage payments which lowers the morale of the workers. Forged job cards and a big number of incomplete work also causes adverse situations for the scheme’s implementation.

Addressing and solving these issues is absolutely necessary as MGNREGA is crucial for integrated resource management and to generate adequate livelihoods for the people.

Subhangee Guha

Break the Newz.

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