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Q. Reboot MGNREGA: there is an urgent need to reboot the MGNREGA scheme, as implementation of the scheme is suffering from various issues.
Apr 30, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

The Mahatma Gandhi National rural employment guarantee act (MGNREGA) is centrally-sponsored scheme aimed at providing at least 100 days job guarantee to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

Launched in 2006, it was a major step in enhancing livelihood security in rural areas. But even after 10 years of launching, Implementation of MGNREGA has been suffering with various issues.

Why MGNREGA needs reboot?

  • According to recent report of India-spend, in the year 2014-15 MGNREGA has provided less than half the guaranteed 100 days of employment to 50 million poor households and Just about 40% of the workers get paid within the promised 15-day period.

  • Implementation MGNREGA varies not only from state to state but also from time to time. Recent study revealed that poll-bound states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam have registered huge spurt in job numbers, which reflects that state governmnets are using it as political tool to serve their interest.

  • Drought-hit states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and poor states like Jharkhand, Odisha have performed poorly. Hence MGNREGA is neither helping the states worst-hit by drought nor those with the highest poverty incidence.

  • Also recent CAG survey showed that close to 50% of the gram panchayats in 25 States have not conducted social audit of MGNREGA scheme, which is necessary under the act.

Way ahead (Suggestions)-

  • As many state governments are using it as political tool, hence time has came that, centre should allocate funds to states based on their individual rural poor population numbers and its performance of previous year.

  • At the start of financial year the Centre can announce the allocation to each state and declare that any unspent amount would be automatically reallocated to those states which have effectively utilised funds in previous year.

  • Also centre should start awareness campaign about their entitlement to rural poor, so that they can put pressure on the states to implement the MGNREGA better.

Conclusion-

Even though central government making funds available to states for implementation of MGNREGA, but money is unspent till the election year. Implementation of MGNREGA has largely rested upon state-level governance capacity and political will, hence it should be used on the basis of demand driven concept not as per its vested interest. Else to realise the true objective of MGNREGA, there will be urgent need to reboot the scheme.


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