GS PAPER II: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes; Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions and Bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of these Vulnerable Sections
Context: The Centre has asked the States to split wage payments under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme into separate categories for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and others from this financial year.
- Critics think that this will unnecessarily complicate the payment system, and expressed fears that it may lead to a reduction in scheme funding.
- The existing system for wages under the scheme is for only one type that is there is no category wise provision of wage payment.
- The Ministry is thinking that this allocation is all being taken by the general category people, so they want to segregate based on the population of the district.
- Some activists expressed the fear that the reform is meant to reduce funding.
- It 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
- Aim: 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.
- The Gram Panchayat registers households after making enquiry and issues a job card.
- The employment will be provided within a radius of 5 km: if it is above 5 km extra wage will be paid.
- Within 15 days of submitting the application or from the day work is demanded, wage employment will be provided to the applicant.
- 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.