Demand for MGNREGA Work Increased
- 03 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
The demand for work by households under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) programme surged to a nine-year high in 2019-20.
- According to the MGNREGA official portal, 5.47 crore households sought MGNREGA works, the highest since 2010-11, when the number was 5.5 crore.
- More individuals too worked under MGNREGA in 2019-20, with 7.86 crore employed at various sites across the country. This is the highest since 2012-13, when 7.97 crore individuals worked under this programme.
- The disruption caused by the coronavirus lockdown, however, may impact the final figure of the person days generated in March 2020.
- The gram panchayats not recording any MGNREGA expenditure has also declined. This shows that more and more panchayats are using MGNREGA to provide unskilled work to the unemployed.
- These new MGNREGA figures coincide with the sharp fall in GDP growth rate to 5% in 2019-20, the lowest in a decade.
- The demand for works under MGNREGA is surging despite the fact that wages have been flattening in recent years.
- In 2019-20, average MGNREGA wage per day per person was Rs 182.09, barely Rs 3 higher than Rs 179.13 in 2018-19.
- The data also showed that 263.73 crore person days were generated during 2019-20, slightly lower than 267.96 crore in 2018-19 but significantly higher than the total person days generated during each financial year from 2012-13 to 2017-18.
- During 2019-20, the Centre released Rs 72,162.13 crore for the MGNREGA, the highest ever amount, and substantially higher than the Rs 62,125.07 crore released in 2018-19.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005
- The Act 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 (at least 18 years of age) volunteer to do unskilled work.
- The central government bears the full cost of unskilled labour, and 75% of the cost of material (the rest is borne by the states).
- It is a demand-driven, social security and labour law that aims to enforce the ‘right to work’.
- The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD), Government of India in association with state governments, monitors the implementation of the scheme.
- Agriculture and allied activities constitute more than 65% of the works taken up under the programme.
- Social inclusion, gender parity, social security and equitable growth are the founding pillars of MGNREGA.