No curtailment in demand for funds under MGNREGA: Govt to SC

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The Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was a “demand driven scheme” and it has not curtailed the demand for funds made by the states.

Highlights

• The petitioner claimed in the court that the Centre has no authority in law to reduce the “person days” from the projection made by the states under the Act and due of lack of funds, the states were unable to give employement to the people
• Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal told a bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and N V Ramana that there were no instances where the Centre has either capped number of days of employment under the Act or not released funds to the states
• The MGNREGA is a demand-driven scheme and at no stage, the demand (of the states for funds) has been curtailed by the Union of India,” he submitted.
• AG told the bench that according to the provision of the Act, a Central Employment Guarantee Council was there and the petitioner could make a representation before the body since a large number of issues were raised in the plea.
• The official said that in the financial year 2017- 18, initially Rs 48,000 crore was allotted under the Act but when the states demanded more funds, the Ministry of Finance allotted an additional Rs 7,000 crore.
• The AG said that in 2016-17 financial year, 20 states crossed the agreed budget and the Centre provided the funds to them.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act MGNREGA

• The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), also known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) is Indian legislation enacted on August 25, 2005. The MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for one hundred days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.
• The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments
• This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living below poverty line in rural India.
• It attempts to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in the country. Roughly one-third of the stipulated work force must be women.

Key facts about MNREGA

• MGNREGA guarantees hundred days of wage employment in a financial year, to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
• Individual beneficiary oriented works can be taken up on the cards of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, small or marginal farmers or beneficiaries of land reforms or beneficiaries under the Indira Awaas Yojana of the Government of India.
• Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.
• Right to get unemployment allowance in case employment is not provided within fifteen days of submitting the application or from the date when work is sought.
• Receipt of wages within fifteen days of work done.
• Variety of permissible works which can be taken up by the Gram Panchayaths.
• MGNREGA focuses on the economic and social empowerment of women.
• MGNREGA provides “Green” and “Decent” work.
• Social Audit of MGNREGA works is mandatory, which lends to accountability and transparency.
• MGNREGA works address the climate change vulnerability and protect the farmers from such risks and conserve natural resources.
• The Gram Sabha is the principal forum for wage seekers to raise their voices and make demands. It is the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat which approves the shelf of works under MGNREGA and fix their priority.


Q.Which of the following statements are correct with respect to MGNREGA?

1) The scheme was designed to provide any adult who registers for rural employment a minimum job guarantee of 100 days each financial year.
2) In case such employment is not provided within 30 days of registration, the applicant becomes eligible for an unemployment allowance.
3) MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by Gram Panchayats.

Choose the correct answer from the above
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) All of the above


Answer: c) 1 and 3 only

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