Mahatma Gandhi National
Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has come a long way since its
inception and has become a lifeline to millions. The Act was notified on
7th September, 2005 to provide minimum of 100 days of guaranteed wage
employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult
members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Social inclusion, gender
parity, social security and equitable growth are the founding pillars of
Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.
During Financial Year (FY) 2015-16, 235 crore Persondays were generated
which was the highest compared to the previous five years. During FY
2016-17 so far, 4.8 crore households were provided employment in 142.64
lakh works. In the process 200 crore person-days of employment were
generated. Out of the total employment, 56% have been generated for
women. This is the highest ever participation of women since inception
of the programme.
Total expenditure in the programme since its inception is Rs. 3,76,546
crore and Rs.48,000 crore is the allocation of fund for FY 2017-18,
which is the highest ever allocation for MGNREGA. The expenditure in FY
2016-17 so far is Rs.51,902 crore and is the highest since inception.
On an average, 25 to 30 lakh works were completed every year (till FY
2013-14). On the contrary, 51.3 lakh works have been completed so far in
current FY 2016-17.
For the first time since inception of the programme, Consolidated
Guidelines for Water Conservation were drafted. Mission Water
Conservation - Planning and monitoring Framework for Natural Resource
Management (NRM) related works under MGNREGA in convergence with Pradhan
Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and Integrated Watershed
Management Programme (IWMP) has been prepared for scientific planning
and execution of water management works with the use of latest
technology is the focus area of the Ministry.
In FY 2016-17 (so far) 63% of total expenditure is on NRM (Natural
Resource Management) works. Expenditure on agriculture and allied sector
works in FY 2016-17 is nearly 70%, which was only around 48 % in FY
GeoMGNREGA is a path breaking initiative that uses space technology for
geo-tagging all assets created under MGNREGA for improved planning,
effective monitoring, enhanced visibility and greater transparency. The
initiative was implemented in FY 2016-17, and so far, nearly 65 Lakh
assets have been geotagged and made available in the public domain.
Direct Benefit Transfer
To further streamline the fund flow mechanism and bring down delay in
payment of wages, the Ministry of Rural Development has implemented
National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS) in 21 States and 1
Union Territory. Around 96% of the wages are being paid electronically
into the Bank/Post Office accounts of MGNREGA workers through Electronic
Fund Management System (eFMS). In FY 2013-14, only 37% of the wages were
8.9 crore active workers have their Aadhaar numbers seeded in NREGASoft-MIS
so far, while the number was merely 76 Lakh in January 2014. As of now,
4.25 crore workers have been enabled for Aadhaar Based Payment System (ABPS).
Good Governance Initiatives
Job card verification and updation was taken up during FY 2016-17, and
75% of active job cards have been updated/ verified in campaign mode.
Initiative has been taken to simplify MGNREGA through issuance of Annual
Master Circular (AMC) for FY 2016-17 by superseding 1039
circulars/advisories issued earlier. The AMC for FY 2017-18 will be
Reduction in number of Registers being maintained at Gram Panchayat
level to 7 simplified Registers from an average of 22 Registers has been
implemented. So far, 2.05 lakh Gram Panchayats have already adopted it.
The programme is progressing towards a more independent and empowered
system of Social Audit and Internal Audit to ensure growth with
accountability through a trained community cadre of social auditors
drawn from women SHGs.
The Ministry has taken up skill development of the MGNREGA workers
through initiatives like Bare Foot Technicians and Project LIFE
(Livelihood In Full Employment) in order to move them up the skilling
The Ministry initiated Inter State Exchange Programmes, a process
ensuring sharing of ideas and good practices. So far, Tamil Nadu,
Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have
already been visited by various States during FY 2016-17.
For the first time, guidelines for Non-PMGSY Roads were developed based
on PMGSY Guidelines for basic layer. The asset will be durable with a
possibility of upgradation to PMGSY standards in future.
The Performance Outcome Report of MGNREGA was for the first time
published during FY 2015-16, and will be published for FY 2016-17.
*Author is posted at Press Information Bureau, New Delhi. The article is
based on the inputs from M/o Rural Development.