Mahatma Gandhi National Rural

The Evolution of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

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Originated in 2005, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is poised as one of the largest and most significant social security measures initiated by the Government of India. The Act was designed to augment growth in rural areas, alleviate poverty and provide stable income to the less privileged sections of the society, primarily laborers in rural India.

This comprehensive Act aimed to ensure livelihood security to rural households across districts by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year. It reinvigorated the rural economy, improving rural infrastructure, promoting rural development, and intimately connected to issues such as gender equity, social inclusion, and overall sustainable development. Importantly, the Act also had provisions for social audit, ensuring accountability and transparency in its execution.

Inception and Financial Aspects:

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural received an initial funding of ₹110 billion. In the years that followed, the funding grew substantially. As per the document released by the Ministry of Finance in the financial year 2020-21, ₹61,500 crore was allocated to the program, a remarkable leap from its initial days.

Advancements and Challenges:

Over the years, the Act has evolved to cater to various facets of rural development, from generating gainful employment to creating assets of value. However, despite the measurable progress, the MGNREGA faced challenges regarding timely allocation and release of funds, delays in wage payment, and worksite facilities. The establishment of effective grievance redressal mechanism and ensuring secure employment rights to the deserving workers remains a daunting task.

Impact and Effectiveness:

The impact of MGNREGA can be seen through its ability to increase the rural wage rate, reducing distress migration, ensuring employment during the agricultural off-season, and providing financial stability to the rural workers.

Digitalization of MGNREGA:

Just as the EPFO member passbook brought transparency and accessibility in managing employee provident fund, e-governance was introduced in MGNREGA for improving its functioning and operation. This led to the creation of a public database, improving transparency and limiting corruption in the system.

The Future:

The pandemic has highlighted the relevance of MGNREGA like never before, with a significant increase in the demand for work under the scheme. There has been a pivot towards using MGNREGA for the creation of durable rural infrastructure. Adequate funding and efficient implementation remain crucial to the effectiveness of MGNREGA.

Disclaimer: 

While this article provides a comprehensive overview of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), it is essential to remember that the investor must gauge the pros and cons of investing in the Indian financial market. Always make informed decisions based on thorough analyses and research.

Summary:

Conceived in 2005, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has significantly shaped the socio-economic landscape of rural India. The Act aimed to boost the rural economy, alleviate poverty, and ensure livelihood security to rural households by guaranteeing 100 days of wage employment in a financial year. Despite challenges concerning timely allocation and release of funds, the Act has been instrumental in increasing the rural wage rate and reducing distress migration. The digitalization of the Act, similar to EPFO member passbook, has increased transparency and curbed corruption. The impact of MGNREGA stands highlighted in the wake of the pandemic, as it continues to provide a safety net to the rural populace. As the Act evolves, adequate funding and efficient implementation remain crucial to its efficacy.

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