The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Govt of India is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments. The law was initially called the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) but was renamed on 2 October 2009.
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.
Adult members of rural households submit their name, age and address with photo to the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Panchayat registers households after making enquiry and issues a job card. The job card contains the details of adult member enrolled and his /her photo. Registered person can submit an application for work in writing (for at least fourteen days of continuous work) either to Panchayat or to Programme Officer.
The Panchayat/Programme Officer will accept the valid application and issue dated receipt of application, letter providing work will be sent to the applicant and also displayed at Panchayat office. The employment will be provided within a radius of 5 km: if it is above 5 km extra wage will be paid.
The scheme was introduced in 200 districts during financial year 2006-07 and 130 districts during the financial year 2007-08. In April 2008 NREGA expanded to entire rural area of the country covering 34 States and Union Territories, 614 Districts, 6,096 Blocks and 2.65 lakhs Gram Panchayats.
Permissible activities as stipulated in Para 1 of Schedule-I of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA are as under:
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