Overview of MGNREGA Scheme

Different ambitious projects and programmes are implemented for improving the human development under the District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee (Disha) being run by Ministry of Rural Development. One among many such schemes is Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme which is considered as the largest security scheme in the world with the mission to enhance the livelihood in rural areas of the country by providing around 100 days wage to the adult of a house if he/she agrees to do unskilled manual work.

Allocation of Funds for the scheme

The scheme was launched in the year 2006 and since then the scheme is providing great help to the rural households but several amendments has been done. In the year 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced Rs. 48,000 crore to be allocated to the MGNREGA as a part of 2017 Union budget of India. This is also the highest allocation ever made under the scheme since its launch.

In the year 2016, around 235 crore persons-days of work were generated under MGNREGA Act. The work provided is usually related to building roads, canals, ponds and wells. The average wage per day per person in 2016-17 was ₹161.

The scheme actually makes the State accountable for unemployment hence rural households can actually sue them for not providing work.

Importance of the Scheme

The scheme caters to a major chunk of the rural areas of the country. As of now, around 12 crore job cards have been made under MGNREGA Act. And as statistics reveal, around one in four persons living in rural India is under below poverty line. The scheme provides a great opportunity to earn minimum income for survival.

The best part of the scheme is that it is inclusive hence shows a higher participation of women and SC and ST individuals. It is also helping women to become independent and enabling poor people to get rid of the clutches of moneylenders. With the launch of new schemes, the access to banking is also made available for the rural people hence improve a chance for their children to have a good education system.

Drawbacks

Although, MGNREGA creates livelihood opportunities for a great number of people living in rural areas but the pace of the work is so slow that until now, we have not been able to provide full benefits to more than 10 per cent of 4.8 crore households within 100 days of work scheme in 2015-16. Owing to multiple glitches at the grassroots level of the scheme implementation, MGNREGA cannot be termed at the best employment scheme for unskilled labour.

Whom should you approach?

The District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee (Disha) comprises Chairperson, Co-chairperson, Member Secretary and other members.

Chairperson: The Chairperson of the Disha should be a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) elected from the district, nominated by the Ministry of Rural Development

The other Members of Parliament (Lok Sabha) representing the district should be designated as Co-Chairpersons.

The Member Secretary of the Disha should be the District Collector / District Magistrate/ Deputy Commissioner except in cases where specific exemption has been given by the Union Government.

The other Members of the Committee should be as follows:

(i) All Members of the State Legislative Assembly elected from the district.

(ii) One representative of the State Government / UT Administration.

(iii) All Mayors / at least the Chairpersons of Municipalities including one woman and five elected heads of Gram Panchayat including two women

(iv) Chairperson of the Zilla Panchayat.

(v) Head of the Autonomous District Council in districts having Schedule VI areas.

(vi) All Chairpersons of Intermediate Panchayats in the district.

(vii) Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Panchayat.

(viii) Project Director, DRDA/Poverty Alleviation Unit.

(ix) One Member from a reputed NGO, to be nominated by the Chairperson and the other Members of Parliament in the Committee.

(x) One representative each of SC, ST and Women to be nominated by the Chairperson and the other Members of Parliament in the Committee.

(xi) Lead Bank officer of the district.

(xii) Senior Superintendent/ Superintendent of the Postal Department.

(xiii) District level nodal functionaries of all Programmes that will be under the purview of Disha.

 

 

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Author

Hardeep Bali