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  • NREGA - National Rural Employment Gurantee Act

    Overview about MG National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NREGA

    The Government of India introduced the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in 2005 which was later renamed to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. This Act is a social security scheme that aims to provide livelihood, sustenance and employment to the rural communities and labourers in India. The NREGA assures income security to rural families and provides a minimum of 100 days of definite wage employment in one year. This wage employment is applicable for adults who have volunteered for unskilled manual labour. The NREGA was passed as an Indian labour law and was implemented in 200 districts across India on 2nd February, 2006. More districts were covered across the country later from 1st April, 2008. This scheme has been implemented on a very large scale and the World Bank even mentioned the NREGA as an excellent example of rural development in the World Development Report of 2014.

    Under the MGNREGA, any rural adult non-skilled worker can get a minimum 100-day job guarantee, every financial year. Every Indian rural citizen is entitled to receive employment within 15 days of registering under this scheme. Once the registration has been done, the worker is eligible for an unemployment allowance from the Government as well, if employment has not been found within the stipulated period. The Gram Panchayats were nominated to implement the MGNREGA across India. Initially, the minimum wages that were to be given to labourers was Rs. 100 per day. The Government of India revised the wages on a later date in accordance to state labour employment conventions. Currently, the minimum wages are being determined by the State Government, with the Rs. 163 being the minimum in Bihar and Rs. 500 being the minimum in Kerala. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 2005 is effective in all states across India, except Jammu and Kashmir.

    Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Objectives

    As per the scheme, the following are the core objectives -

    • To provide atleast 100 days of guaranteed non-skilled manual employment to rural workers every year, so that rural households are able to sustain themselves.

    • The core aim of the NREGA scheme is to ensure that there is a source of livelihood for the economically weaker section of the population.

    • The NREGA also aims to proactively include the weaker section into the society.

    • This scheme also targets to strengthen Panchayati Raj establishments across India.

    Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Goals

    • The MGNREGA has been established across the country for the growth of the rural sections along with providing then the required livelihood security, social protection and for empowerment.

    • As the scheme gives an assured wage employment to rural workers, livelihoods are sustained and improved, with the natural resource base being rejuvenated.

    • Additionally, the local economy can be improved by offering the guaranteed wage employment The Government also aims to enhance the condition and empower the socially underprivileged, Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and also women.

    • The scheme also intends to strengthen participatory planning through several anti-poverty initiatives.

    Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Coverage

    The NREGA has coverage across the entire nation excepting a few districts which carry a 100% urban population.

    New Initiatives in the Wage Employment Program

    • The NREGA is one of the largest wage employment programs introduced by the Government of India which is people-centric and has a far better reach than any other schemes.

    • This scheme offers a legal work employment guarantee for rural workers.

    • This wage employment program is demand-driven, according to the needs of the rural workers.

    • The Government has also introduced various provisions for compensation and allowances if there are any issues with the entire wage set-up.

    • State Governments are also given incentives to offer employment, with 75% of the cost of the materials and 100% of the labour cost being given by the Government of India.

    • If any State Government fails to provide employment to the rural workers, then the cost of the unemployment allowance should be borne by them.

    • Since Gram Panchayats have to implement the NREGA scheme across the country, atleast 50% of the projects have to be implemented in terms of cost by them. Any decisions regarding chosen projects have to be made in Gram Sabha assemblies and has to be approved by the Gram Panchayat. These tasks will be put into action and outcomes overseen by Immediate Panchayats, District Panchayats or other agencies.

    • The MGNREGA also features a Social Audit aspect, where the parties implementing the projects will be under continuous scrutiny and inspection.

    • The Central Employment Guarantee Council (CEGC) presents an annual report regarding the outcome of any project that has been implemented to the Government of India in a parliament session. On the same lines, State Employment Guarantee Councils (SEGC) also have to produce a report to their respective State Governments, which have to be presented to all State Legislatures.

    Institutional Architecture - Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

    National Level

    Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) - Government of India

    Central Employment Guarantee Council - CEGC

    National Management Team - NMT

    State Level

    State Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD)

    State Employment Guarantee Council - SEGC

    State Employment Guarantee Mission and Management Team - SEGM & MT

    State Social Audit Unit

    State Vigilance Cell

    District Level

    District Panchayat

    District Programme Coordinator - DPC

    District Technical Committee - DTC

    Voluntary Technical Corps - VTC

    District Vigilance Cell

    Ombudsman

    Block Level

    Intermediate Panchayat

    Programme Officer - PO

    Block Resource Centre - BRC

    Engineer

    Cluster Level

    Technical Assistant - TA

    Cluster Facilitation Teams - CFT

    Computer Operator-cum-Accounts clerk

    GP Level

    Gram Panchayat

    Panchayat Development Officer - PDO

    Gram Rozgar Sahayak - GRS

    Mate

    Roles / Responsibilities of Functionaries

    Gram Panchayats

    The Gram Panchayat has the following responsibilities -

    • Receiving and verifying applications for employment

    • Household Registration

    • Issuance of Job Cards

    • Issuance of dated receipt and work allocation within 15 days of application

    • Assessing work demand and amount of work available

    • Identifying projects, planning, authorizing, executing and prioritizing projects based on Gram Sabha decisions.

    • Maintenance of records and accounts. Issuance of utilization certificates as per the Central or State Government formats

    • Preparation of Annual report containing figures, achievements, etc.

    • Gram Sabha meetings for making social audits and planning.

    • Supervising implementation of the scheme in villages

    • Maintaining documents like bills, muster rolls, vouchers, sanction order copies, measurement books, account books and other papers for making social audits.

    • Details of completed works and ongoing projects with information on the workers, wages, material cost, etc., to be maintained.

    • Arrange Rozgar Diwas once every month.

    • Help in forming Labour Groups.

    • Monthly Report regarding complaints and the required resolution has to be sent to the Program Officer.

    Gram Rozgar Sahayak or Employment Guarantee Assistant

    The Gram Rozgar Sahayak has the following responsibilities -

    • Helping the Gram Panchayat for completing MGNREGA projects.

    • Supervising registrations, distributing job cards, dated receipts, allotting work, etc.

    • Have to arrange Gram Sabha meeting along with social audits.

    • Keeping track of attendance of workers on a daily basis.

    • Setting Group mark outs for workers to achieve daily requirements and wages.

    • Attendance of Mates to be supervised, with attendance taken in the muster roll at the worksite,

    • Making sure that working facilities are available / regular updates to be provided for Job Cards.

    • Maintenance of NREGA registers with the Gram Panchayat.

    • Lending assistance to any official or the Panchayat Secretary to maintain MGNREGA accounts.

    • Making sure that all documents are available for the public.

    • Organise Rozgar Diwas and help the Gram Panchayat in convening this event.

    • Be a part of the village resource group and help in planning projects.

    • Maintain details of eligible households / verify these details in NREGASoft.

    • Records and the index map should be made available for the State Quality Monitor.

    • Responsible to distribute pay slips to workers and mates.

    Mates

    Mateshave the following responsibilities -

    • Worksite Supervision

    • Maintenance of attendance in muster rolls.

    • Daily mark outs to be handed to groups of workers.

    • Measurement to be taken by the end of the working day.

    • Entries updates in job cards.

    • Handling job card applications / Submissions to be made to the Gram Panchayat.

    • Enable work demand, submit applications to the Gram Panchayat / Receive dated receipt for application acknowledgement.

    • Identify works in the Gram Panchayat.

    • Make sure no free riding happens within workers.

    • Submission of completed muster rolls to the Gram Rozgar Sahayak.

    • Has to ensure that first aid is available at the worksite for injuries and health hazards occurring to workers.

    • Extend support to illiterate workers to help them learn to sign and also calculate the wages earned.

    • Spread general awareness about entitlements and rights available under MGNREGA.

    • Be a part of the village resource group, facilitating and helping in planning activities.

    • Help the Gram Rozgar Sahayak to distribute pay slips to workers.

    Panchayat Development Officer (PDO)

    A Panchayat Development Officerhas the following responsibilities -

    • The Gram Panchayat assigns duties to a Panchayat Development Officer.

    • The Panchayat Development Officer has to monitor other functionaries.

    • The Panchayat Development Officer also has to perform duties assigned by the Intermediate Panchayat, the State Government or the District Panchayat.

    • Help Panchayats convergent planning as per the MGNREGA through participatory planning.

    • Implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    Junior Engineer - JE (works)

    A Junior Engineer has the following responsibilities -

    • Work estimate preparation.

    • Assignment of layouts for construction works and civil works as specified under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • Issuance of technical sanctions for MGNREGA projects.

    • Supervise work execution.

    • Give technical supervision.

    • Supervise measurements added to the Measurement book.

    • Authenticate work measurement done by a mate.

    Clusters Facilitation Teams

    Clusters Facilitation Teams have the following responsibilities -

    • Creating awareness among employment seekers regarding entitlements and regulations mentioned under the MGNREGA.

    • Help prepare the Annual Plan for every financial year with the Gram Panchayat regarding works, annual labour and budgeting.

    • Design perspective plans along with the Gram Panchayats.

    • Implement MGNREGA with the help of other functionaries and elected representatives and perform duties like measurements, asset verification, payment, evaluation, monitoring, Social Audit and maintenance of NREGASoft.

    • Assist and train functionaries, elected representatives, Community Resource Persons, GP members, GP Secretaries and Gram Rozgar Sahayaks.

    • Monitor measurements done by Technical Assistants.

    • Additionally, assess quantity and quality of natural resources and also perform resource mapping.

    • Evaluate the requirement of additional resources.

    Intermediate Panchayat

    The Intermediate Panchayat has the following responsibilities -

    • Approval of works to be executed in the future.

    • The Block level plan has to be approved before being sent to the district Panchayat for final approvals before October 2nd of every year.

    • Monitor all projects undertaken at the Block level and the Gram Panchayat.

    • Any other duty that has been given by the State Council has to be performed.

    • The Programme Officer has to submit the Action taken Report which has to be evaluated by the Intermediate Panchayat.

    • Help in forming Labour Groups.

    Programme Officer (PO)

    The Programme Officer has the following responsibilities -

    • Consolidation of all Gram Panchayat projects into the Block Plan, which has to be submitted before September 15th to the Intermediate Panchayat. After approval the plan has to be sent to the district Panchayat.

    • As per the demand, the work opportunities have to be aligned with the works implemented by Gram Panchayats, to be added to the Block Plan.

    • Baseline surveys have to be conducted to evaluate the demand of work.

    • Supervision of projects implemented by the Gram Panchayat or other agencies in the Block.

    • Making sure that wages are paid on a timely manner to workers and also that unemployment allowance is being paid duly, in case work has not been provided.

    • Accounts have to be maintained regarding received / utilised and released resources.

    • Grievance redressal within the Block to be done in seven days. If the issue that is being handled has to be resolved by any other authority, then the Programme Officer has to intimate the concerned authority within seven days, after a preliminary enquiry.

    • A monthly report has to be sent to the District Programme Coordinator regarding complaints and their resolutions.

    • Making sure that social audits are conducted / ensuring the required actions have been taken.

    • To conduct a social audit correctly, the Programme Officer has to make sure that all the records have been maintained properly. This information has to be made available before 15 days of the social audit. The Programme Officer also has to ensure that documents have been maintained in the right format to facilitate the social audit.

    • The Programme Officer has to set-up Cluster-Level Facilitation Teams to technically assist the Gram Panchayat, where these teams have not been formed.

    • Technical assistance has to be provided through Cluster-Level Facilitation Teams to the Gram Panchayats.

    • Assist in setting up new bank accounts or post office account to make regular payments to workers. The Programme Officer also has to interact with the Block and the Gram Panchayats for maintain all communication.

    • Monthly meeting have to be held to facilitate the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act along with the CSOs - Civil Society Organisations.

    • Taking in work applications / Issuance of dated receipts.

    • Ensuring the production of report cards on local projects, funds and employment to the Intermediate Panchayat.

    • Making sure that the MGNREGA work suggested by the line department and the Gram Sabha are in correlation with each other. This has to be done along with the Block Resource Group.

    • Be the nodal officer for forming Labour Groups.

    • Set up a calendar based on Gram Panchayats for the Gram Sabha meeting, which are held on August 15th.

    Technical Assistant

    The Technical Assistant has the following responsibilities -

    • As per Gram Sabha work decisions, the necessary projects have to be identified.

    • As per the prescribed templates, work estimates have to be prepared.

    • Work details and measurements have to be noted after muster rolls have been closed or once every week.

    • Evaluating the work measurement done by a mate.

    • The Technical Assistant is responsible for the quality of work.

    • Measurement books have to be maintained.

    • Training Gram Rojgar Sahayaks and mates on work quality and measurements / improving their technical capabilities.

    • The Technical Assistant should be a part of the internal quality supervision team. The other participants of this team are representatives from the Intermediate and District Panchayats, Line Departments and Block.

    • The Technical Assistant also has to be in the Village Resource Group facilitating planning and implementation.

    • Help the State Quality Monitor by providing index maps and other required records.

    Computer Operators-cum-Accounts Clerk

    The Computer Operators-cum-Accounts Clerk has the following responsibilities -

    • Job Card generation / Data Entry / Registering Demand for work / Work Commencement letters / Technical Estimates.

    • The required cheques and pay orders have to be generated.

    • All MGNREGA related documents, accounts, files and registers have to be maintained.

    • Review reports and MIS have to be generated. This has to be given to the Programme Officer.

    Block Resource Centre (BRC)

    The Block Resource Centre (BRC) has the following responsibilities -

    • Technical inputs have to be provided by this centre for helping in planning. These inputs can be sourced from institution or other individuals.

    • As per planning needs, a database on the local natural resources like soil, rainfall, groundwater, etc., have to be maintained.

    • Maps and Topo-sheets for every type of habitation has to be provided to the Cluster Facilitation Team.

    • Making sure that there are no gaps between the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and other Government schemes.

    District Panchayats

    The District Panchayats have the following responsibilities -

    • Projects that will be implemented with a proper outcome have to be approved.

    • Annual Block Plans have to be consolidated into a District Plan every year, before December 1st.

    • Any inter-block work that is added by a District Panchayat to source employment has to be approved as a priority by the Gram Sabha.

    • The implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme has to be supervised by District Panchayats.

    • Other duties which are allotted by the State Council have to be carried by District Panchayats.

    District Programme Coordinator (DPC)

    The District Programme Coordinator (DPC) has the following responsibilities -

    • The District Programme Coordinator (DPC) has to aid the District Panchayat to perform assigned duties.

    • Consolidation of Block Panchayat plans with proposals from other agencies into the District Plan, which has to be approved by the District Panchayat.

    • Sanctions have to be given to shelf of MGNREGA projects.

    • Making sure that funds are released and then utilised as required.

    • Making sure that employment seekers get work as per the entitlement given under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • The District Programme Coordinator has to supervise and review the performance of the Programme Coordinator and other agencies working on projects.

    • Muster Rolls have to be verified / Work progress has to be supervised.

    • If there is a financial irregularity or misappropriation, then the DPC has to ensure that a First Information Report (FIR) is filed.

    • Employ Project Implementation Agencies (PIAs) in the entire district, making sure that for 50% of the work value the Project Implementation Agencies have to be Gram Panchayats.

    • Making sure that Rozgar Diwas is organized in every Ward or Gram Panchayat, once every month.

    • Grievance redressal has to be done by the District Programme Coordinator.

    • An Information Education and Communication (IEC) campaign has to be implemented within the district.

    • Annual plans have to be drawn for training and capability building for different functionaries within the district.

    • The District Programme Coordinator has to periodically update the State Government with the progress of the project.

    • The District Programme Coordinator has to ensure that social audits are done every six months, with the required action being taken.

    • The District Programme Coordinator also has to make sure that transactions like Fund Transfer Orders (FTOs), issuance of job cards, work applications, work allocation, wage slip generation, unemployment allowance and all other allied activities are done using NREGASoft.

    • Any detail related to projects like shelf of works, photographs of development, GPS coordinates, implementation status, etc., have to added to NREGASoft.

    • Funds got from District level authorities and Implementing agencies are entered in NREGASoft, within two days.

    • Making sure NREGASoft entries are accurate and are done by all officials inclusive of the line department.

    • The convergence project’s technical quality has to be maintained by the District Resource Group.

    Additional District Programme Coordinator

    The Additional District Programme Coordinator (DPC) has the following responsibilities -

    • District Labour budget preparation.

    • Management of Finance / Accounts / MGNREGA funds

    • Ensuring that projects have sufficient shelf life.

    • Opening up opportunities to meet the required work demand.

    • Supervising payment of wages and work quality.

    • Muster Roll Management.

    • Grievance redressal and resolution of complaints.

    • Holding review sessions with implementing agencies, block officers, BDO and Programme Officers.

    • Work site inspection and regular monitoring.

    • Perform social audits and other follow-up activities.

    • Ensuring that MGNREGA field staff are well trained and capable of performing their duties. Holding training sessions on a periodic basis.

    • Perform any other task assigned by the District Programme Coordinator.

    State Employment Guarantee Council

    The State Employment Guarantee Council has the following responsibilities -

    • The State Employment Guarantee Council gives advice to the State Government regarding implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • The Council also monitors and suggests improvement to the existing redressal mechanism.

    • The State Employment Guarantee Council monitors the implementation of the MGNREGA scheme within a particular state.

    • Make recommendations for work proposals to be submitted to the Government of India as per para 4(IV) (ix) of Schedule I of the Act.

    • The State Employment Guarantee Council should also ensure that information regarding the act or schemes is propagated widely across the country.

    • An annual report has to be submitted to the State Legislature through the State Government.

    State Government

    The State Government has the following responsibilities -

    • Rules have to be coined with respect to the responsibilities of the State as per Section 32 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • The Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has to be developed for the State.

    • A State Employment Guarantee Council has to be set-up and regular meetings have to be carried out.

    • A state level agency to implement MGNREGS has to be established with select representatives.

    • A state level social audit agency or a directorate has to be set up with the right kind of professionals having sufficient knowledge of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • A State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF) has to be established and operated.

    • The particular State’s MGNREGS budget has to be channelized into the State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF), when the financial year begins and should be used as a revolving fund.

    • The State Government should ensure that a dedicated professional like the Programme Officer, Employment Guarantee Assistant / Gram Rozgar Sahayak or the State/ Cluster/ District level staff is responsible for implementing Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Power has to be delegated to the Programme Officer and the District Programme Coordinator to effectively implement the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • Professional agencies have to be set up for technical support, training and for taking quality-control measures by the State Government.

    • The State Government has to regularly research, review, monitor and evaluate MGNREGA projects and results. Maximum awareness has to be created across the state.

    • The State has to make sure that there is transparency and accountability when a project is being completed at all levels.

    • The State Government has to ensure that civil society organisations which are popularizing the MGNREGS are meeting the required District, State and block level authorities, atleast once every month.

    • The State Government should ensure that there is compliance with regards to processes set up, in accordance to the Act, guidelines and Rules.

    Central Employment Guarantee Council

    The Central Employment Guarantee Council has the following responsibilities -

    • The Central Employment Guarantee Council has to set up a central monitoring and evaluation system.

    • This Council has to give advice to the Centre regarding implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • Recommendations for improvements regarding the grievance redressal mechanism along with monitoring the entire system has to be done.

    • Maximum awareness and information on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has to be spread across the state.

    • The implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has to be monitored.

    • Annual reports have to be prepared and submitted to the Parliament by the Centre, once the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has been implemented.

    Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD)

    The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has the following responsibilities -

    • The Ministry of Rural Development has to formulate rules under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • The Ministry of Rural Development also has to make operational guidelines to effectively implement the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • The Central Employment Guarantee Council has to be constituted.

    • The National Employment Guarantee Fund has to be set up.

    • In order to perform functions at the national level for the MGNREGS, the National Management Team (NMT) in the Department of Rural Development has to be set up.

    • Allocation of budget from the Centre and release has to be done has to be done.

    • The Management Information System has to be maintained and operated to track implementation data along with assessing the utilization of resources. This can be done with performance indicators.

    • The Ministry has to facilitate the usage of Information Technology to improve the efficiency of implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • Trainings and new innovations should be encouraged for improving MGNREGS results.

    • The Ministry should regularly review and monitor the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The results that have been achieved should be evaluated and further research should be done.

    • Project Implementation Agencies can be set up to be used by State Governments for implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Funding can be determined accordingly to meet the needs of the Project Implementation Agencies.

    Civil Society

    The Civil Society has the following responsibilities -

    • The Civil Society has to completely help in planning and implementing the MGNREGA scheme along with social audits.

    • Cluster Facilitation Teams (CFTs) have to be operationalized in Blocks, where a project has be initiated.

    • In order to implement the MGNREGA scheme well, the Civil Society has to organise labourers into groups or collectives and make sure that all their entitlements have been given as mentioned in the Act.

    • Ensure that scheme awareness is created among labourers.

    • Improving capacities of State Governments and Gram Panchayats.

    Employment Guarantee Schemes

    The MGNREGA schemes is as centrally-sponsored scheme, where the cost is shared by the State and the Centre. Workers employed as per this Act have to get atleast the minimum facilities allocated to them as per the Schedule II section. The concerned State Government has to ensure that these minimum facilities have been provided to enrolled workers as per Schedule I.

    Application for employment under the MGNREGA scheme

    An adult belonging to a registered rural household, having his/her name on the Job Card is eligible to apply for employment as an unskilled worker.

    The application that has been made by the worker has to be for atleast a period of fourteen days of continuous employment, with no upper limit imposed on the total number of days. The scheme does not include an upper limit on the number of days provided based on the combined entitlement of the rural household.

    Workers should make their applications either as written statements or orally to a Ward member, Gram Panchayat. Program Office and any State Government official. The application can be done through telephone, the Interactive Voice Response System, mobile, website, call centre or via a kiosk set-up, as per State Government authorisation.

    If the application has been made in writing, then certain details like the Job Card registration number, date from when the work is required and the number of days of work required. Applicants can submit a handwritten written application or a printed proforma, which can be got free of charge from the Gram Panchayat.

    Gram Panchayats have to designate ward members, school teachers, Self-help groups, anganwadi workers, village-level revenue functionaries, Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Labour Groups and Common Service Centres (CSCs) to receive work applications on a regular basis to assess demand.

    Rural workers have to be available at the Gram Panchayat Office when they apply for employment. The Gram Rojgar Sahayak will record all the details regarding employment.

    Advance work applications can be made and the Government has also made provisions for multiple applications to be done by a single individual. The applicant must ensure that the multiple work period must not overlap. Individuals can also make a single application for multiple periods across the year, when employment is being sought.

    Rural workers also have the provision of making joint applications with the inclusion of several applicants. This can be done through NGOs and other authorised entities or by themselves.

    The Gram Panchayat will intimate the applicants through a letter or a public notice, when they have been allocated work. If the applicant has submitted a mobile number, then an intimation SMS will be sent from the Gram Panchayat.

    The Program Officer will oversee the employment process and will receive information from the Gram Panchayat regarding applications made. The number of persons employed and the number of persons who have not been employed will be given by the Gram Panchayat to the Program Officer. In case a certain applicant has not got any work with a particular gram Panchayat, then work can be sought with the neighbouring Gram Panchayat. This process will be facilitated by NREGASoft.

    Household Re-Registration

    • In order to provide maximum opportunities for unskilled employment, registrations will be done throughout the year at Gram Panchayat Offices.

    • A household is defined as family members residing together, related by blood, adoption, marriage and also holding a ration card. Any adult member of the household can make the application, with all the members mentioned in the application being local residents.

    • Adult workers in this case implies that applicants should be more than 18 years of age and the application should also contain their names. Other details that have to be included in the application are age, SC/ST status, sex, Aadhaar number, Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana (RSBY) number, bank or post office account number and Below Poverty Line (BPL) status.

    • To make oral applications, the individual has to appear before the Gram Rozgar Sahayak or the Panchayat Secretary and any other authority.

    • Rural workers can also make applications at Community Service Centres (CSC), which will then be forwarded to the concerned Gram Panchayat.

    Registration and Verification under the MGNREGA scheme

    The Gram Panchayat has to verify the following details for an applicant -

    1. The authenticity of the household mentioned in the application
    2. Ensure that the applicants are local residents in the concerned Gram Panchayat
    3. Confirm whether the applicants are members of the mentioned household.

    The verification has to be completed by the Gram Panchayat within fourteen days after receiving the application.

    Issue of New Job Cards / Updating existing Job Cards

    The Gram Panchayat will issue a job card to a household within fourteen days of making the application. The job card will be issued only if the household has been found to be eligible for registration. The Job Card will be given to a family member of the applicant before some residents of the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Panchayat will also maintain a copy of the Job Card. A special Job Card, demarcated with a specific color will be given to single women, aged individuals, disabled persons, released bonded labour or any individual from a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group. This will ensure special protection for providing employment, evaluations and other work facilities. The Job Card will contain the entitlements of the MGNREGS workers along with other basic features. Additionally, identity slips will also be given to every registered applicants of a family, which will contain the registration number of the eligible household. If an applicant has not been issued a job card, then the PO can be notified and resolutions can be got within fifteen days. A single job card will contain employment details for a period of five years. Other particulars alike Job Card number, age and sex of the members, work demand/ allocation, work completed, dates/ days worked, wages paid, muster roll numbers, work description along with any unemployment allowance that has been paid.

    Job Cards might also include information like post office account or bank account numbers, LIC policy number, Voter’s ID number, Aadhaar Card number, RSBY number, BPL and the economic status. NREGASoft will carry information on the Job Cards that have been issued. Entries made in a job card have to be validated through an authorised officer’s signature.

    In order to ensure that Job Cards are issued to maximum households, the Gram Panchayat should make door-to-door surveys and get more households registered. Names of individuals belonging to registered households have to be verified by the Panchayat Secretary and also through the Management Information System. Changes to any information in the database should be done only after verification.

    Rozgar Diwas Organisation

    A Rozgar Diwas has to be organised in every ward or at the Gram Panchayat level every month. These events have to be held by the ward member and should include representation from atleast twenty five registered households. When the Rozgar Diwas is held, the Gram Panchayat can accept new applications and also issue dated receipts. Other activities that can be carried out during the event are work allocation, wage and unemployment allowance payments. It is mandatory for the Gram Panchayat President and other staff to attend the Rozgar Diwas event.

    Kaam Mango Abhiyan

    In order to strengthen the entitlements under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Kaam Mango Abhiyan has been launched by the MoRD. This scheme aims to review the current system, identify issues and find resolutions. Additionally, the Kaam Mango Abhiyan scheme also fortifies the Rozgar Diwas system and aims to implement unemployment allowance for workers. Awareness will be created through yatras, training, debriefing sessions and organisation of Rozgar Diwas.

    Allocation of Work

    When a work application is made, the Gram Panchayat might allocate work from any ongoing projects. If they Gram Panchayat finds that the current project is not suitable for the labourer, then any new work can be started and assigned to the worker. The new project has to be from the approved list of projects only. In case the Gram Panchayat is unable to find any work for a worker, due to less number of projects, then the Programme Officer has to be informed. Here, the Programme Officer will be able to provide work according to the allocation done by the Gram Sabhas. Line departments will act as the implementing agencies for these projects and the Programme Officer will release the required funds to the agency. Then the Programme Officer will contact the concerned Gram Panchayat to give information regarding the work allocation. The employment data has to be recorded in the Employment Register of the Gram Panchayat. A communication will be sent to the applicant informing him about the work allocation. Public notices will also be displayed in this effect.

    When work allocation is being done, the Gram Panchayat should ensure the atleast one work is given to applicants from Particularly Vulnerable Groups, aged and disabled members, as per Para 9(1) Schedule I.

    It is important to give priority to women with atleast one-third of the registered beneficiaries being women, as per Schedule II, para 15.

    If work is allocated by the Programme Officer, then the Gram Panchayat must be informed to consolidate employment details in the Employment Register. This employment information has to be shared every week on a prearranged proforma.

    Additionally, if the worker has to reach a worksite that is more than 5 kms from their residence, then as per the Act, the worker has to be paid atleast 10% of the wage rate. This additional wages will be given to meet the transportation costs and other living expenses. This information has to be entered in NREGASoft, which calculates the wages according to the distance travelled to the worksite. It is mandatory to give preference to aged persons and women and place them at worksites which are nearer to their homes.

    As per Schedule II, para 14 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Programme Officer and the Gram Panchayat are responsible for making sure that every applicant is allocated work within fifteen days of receiving the application or from the date when the advance application has been made, whichever happens later.

    The number of days between the date of application, the date of work allocation and the date of opening is tracked by NREGASoft. Depending on this record, the unemployment allowance would be calculated by NREGASoft. This will be supervised by the Programme Officers, DPCs and the State Government and work allocation will be done accordingly.

    Unemployment Allowance

    A daily unemployment allowance will be given to an applicant if employment has not been given within fifteen days of making the application. For advance applications, generally employment is provided as per the date from when the employment is sought or within fifteen days, whichever is later. If both these conditions are not met, then an unemployment allowance has to be given. As per Section 7 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the unemployment allowance that has to be paid will be lesser than 1/4th of the wage for the first 39 days. It should not be lesser than ½ of the wage rate for the rest of the financial year.

    As per section 7 (2) of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the State Government has to stipulate the unemployment allowance rate, coin rules to govern the unemployment allowance payment and also make the required budget allocation for paying unemployment allowance.

    The State Government has to generate a payment order and pay the unemployment allowance from the selected SEGF account or from other type of funds mentioned in the NREGASoft mainly for this requirement. The unemployment allowance that is paid will be credited to the Post Office or the bank account of the applicant.

    As per the Section 8(2) of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, if the unemployment allowance has not been paid or has been delayed, then this has to be mentioned in the Annual Report given to the State Government by the District Programme Coordinator, with the necessary reasons listed.

    The section 8(3) of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, mentions that the State Government has to ensure that the unemployment allowance has to be paid to all households without any hassles.

    The State Government does not have to pay an unemployment allowance to a household if -

    • The applicant has been asked to report to work by the Programme Coordinator of the Gram Panchayat. The applicant might have also been asked to assign any household member.
    • The employment period gets completed and no member from the applicant’s household has reported to work.
    • The adults in the household have been employed for atleast a hundred days during the course of the financial year.
    • The unemployment allowance and wages earned by the applicant’s household totals to equal the wages earned for a hundred days, during the entire year.

    Or

    • If an applicant -
    • Does not accept the work provided to his or her household.
    • Does not take up the work before fifteen days after receiving an employment notification from the Programme Officer and the implementing agency.
    • Is regularly absent at the worksite, without proper permissions for a week or for more than a week in one month.

    Applicants falling under any of the three categories will not be eligible to get unemployment allowance as per the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for three months. They can seek for employment at any point of time.

    Workers - Special Category

    As per the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, workers following under the special category are as follows -

    • Individuals with disabilities
    • Nomadic Tribal Groups
    • Primitive Tribal Groups
    • De-notified Tribes
    • Women - Under Special Conditions
    • Senior Citizens - Aged above 65 years
    • Internally displaced individuals
    • HIV positive individuals
    • Released bonded labour

    The State Government is responsible for formulating plans to make sure that these types of workers are included under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. As per the type of worker, customised plans should be made and volunteers should be engaged to train the workers according to their requirements. Volunteers should be able to support these workers during their initial employment period. Government officers should be well aware of the issues of special category workers and should take appropriate measures.

    Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act workers should be highly sensitive about HIV positive individuals and should facilitate their participation in projects along with other MGNREGA workers.

    Interventions mainly for Vulnerable Workers

    Specific vulnerable groups and disabled persons can be identified and special programs can be designed for them. The Program Officers can take the help of CSOs, specialized resource agencies or the welfare department for identifying disabled persons and ensuring that they receive the entitlements under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. State governments can allocate dedicated officers to address the needs of vulnerable groups and ensure that the required conditions are met for them to work. The Coordinator should create awareness in villages regarding the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme to encourage disabled persons to volunteer for work. All households with disabled persons should be registered under the special category and their reports should be reviewed to track the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme amongst vulnerable groups.

    Attention / Provisions / Mobilisation - Disabled Persons

    As per the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (1 of 1996), any person with a disability severity of over 40% will be classified as a special vulnerable group for the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Persons mentioned under the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 (44 of 1999) also will be eligible for entitlements. In order to include them into the MGNREGA scheme special working conditions have to be created. State Governments have to identify specific employment for vulnerable and disabled persons to ensure that they also benefit from implementing the Act. The State Government should ensure that the wages earned by disabled persons must not be lower than other workers.

    The Coordinator must appoint a facilitator to ensure that disabled individuals are made aware of the MGNREGA work. The facilitator should help the workers reach the worksite and orient them about the type of work that would be suitable for them. The coordinator should also function as a mate for disabled persons.

    One labour intensive public work with one work opportunity for Particularly Vulnerable Groups should be made available for disabled and aged persons, as per Schedule I, Para 9(1).

    Vulnerable and disabled persons can also be engaged in other works like managing crèches, providing drinking water, etc., for workers. For appointing MGNREGA mates, disabled persons should be given preference.

    Any tool or equipment that is being used at the worksite can be modified to suit disabled workers. These changes can be done by the Vulnerable Group Coordinator after consultation with the workers.

    Any worker with disabilities should be treated with respect at the worksite and should be registered with job cards provided. Authorities must ensure that abusive language, insults or any ill-treatment should not be meted out in the workplace.

    Coordinators should make sure that disabled persons are identified and allotted 100 days of employment for each household within the required time frame. In order to ensure that the implementation has been successful, the coordinator has to hold monthly meetings with the Gram Panchayat and Block level officials. Quarterly and monthly reports should be submitted to the District Programme Coordinator by the Coordinator.

    Attention / Provisions / Mobilisation - Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)

    Persons living in remote locations, forests, hills and interior locations fall under the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). Most PVTGs have not been given Job Cards and have not been made aware of the benefits of MGNREGA. The geographical locations of the PVTGs have also added to the difficulty of implementation of the MGNREGA. Coordinators can plan and organise projects which cater to their forest based lives. State Governments should implement special programs to ensure that the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is done according to the geographical location and habitations.

    Attention / Provisions - Nomadic and De-Notified Tribes

    Since nomadic tribes do not fall under any Gram Panchayat, they might not be assigned Job Cards and also do not get MGNREGA benefits. The District Programme Coordinator should be able to draw an estimate of their numbers as they are very few tribes. These tribes should be should be issued Job Cards, which can be accepted at any Gram Panchayat and the tribes should be given work in any Gram Panchayat. Additionally, bank accounts should also be opened for the tribes which should come with an ATM card and core banking facilities.

    Attention / Provisions - Women in Special Conditions

    The State Government should ensure that destitute women, widows and abandoned women are included under the MGNREGA. Gram Panchayats are responsible for identifying women in need and making sure that they receive atleast hundred days of employment. Other types of women who should be included under the special category are lactating mothers and pregnant women. These categories of women should be given work that requires less physical strain and the worksite should be nearer to their place of residence.

    Attention / Provisions - Senior Citizens

    Any senior citizen who have not been taken care by their families can also enroll under MGNREGA for support. Senior citizens can be included into the special category of workers. Gram Panchayats can form special senior citizen groups and ensure that the work allocated to them requires less physical strain.

    Attention / Provisions - Displaced Persons

    Persons or families who have been displaced due to communal or caste based violence might be have required to move to new districts. State Governments should make sure that they are included under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and are given special category status while providing work. The District Programme Coordinator can also make sure that special job cards are issued to them showing that they are displaced persons. This special job card can be used until the families are in their new place of residence and will become invalid once the family returns to their old place of residence.

    Identification of Works - Differently Abled Persons

    The following are the works suitable for differently abled individuals enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Earth Backfilling
    • Digging of Canals / Irrigation
    • Making concrete material in building constructions
    • Clearance of mud in trolleys
    • Moving concrete or other material require for building construction
    • Carrying bricks or cement
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls
    • Deepening of wells - Baskets can be filled with mud within the wells.
    • Removing sludge from wells
    • Shifting the sludge in trolleys
    • Removing sludge from ponds
    • Collecting waste in iron vessels
    • Shifting content from filled pans to trolleys
    • Carrying stones
    • Leveling of land
    • Arranging stones
    • Digging required pits in a water conservation land
    • Farm Bunding
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water
    • Moving mud from pits to a different area

    Identification of Works - Orthopedically handicapped persons / with one weak hand

    The following are the works suitable for orthopedically handicapped persons enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Carrying bricks or cement
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls
    • Arranging pebbles, pouring water
    • Farm Bunding

    Identification of Works - Persons with two weak hands

    The following are the works suitable for persons with two weak hands enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Taking care of children

    Identification of Works - Persons with one weak leg

    The following are the works suitable for persons with one weak leg enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    The following works can be done with support from other individuals -

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls

    The following works can be done on their own -

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Earth filling
    • Digging of Canals / Irrigation
    • Clearance of mud in trolleys
    • Repair of concrete material
    • Moving concrete material require for building construction
    • Carrying bricks or cement
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls
    • Deepening of wells - Baskets can be filled with mud within the wells.
    • Removing sludge from wells
    • Shifting the sludge in trolleys
    • Removing sludge from ponds
    • Collecting waste in iron vessels
    • Carrying stones
    • Leveling of land
    • Shifting content from filled pans to trolleys
    • Farm Bunding
    • Digging required pits for water conservation
    • Construction of roads
    • Moving mud from pits to a different area
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water
    • Sweeping kuchha roads using brooms

    Identification of Works - Persons with two weak legs

    The following are the works suitable for persons with two weak legs enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Removing sludge from wells

    Identification of Works - Persons with one weak leg and one weak hand

    The following are the works suitable for persons with one weak leg and one weak hand enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    The following works can be done with support from other individuals -

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Planting trees
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls

    The following works can be done on their own -

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Planting trees
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water

    Identification of Works - Hunchbacked Persons

    The following are the works suitable for Hunchbacked Persons enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water

    Identification of Works - Visually Impaired Persons

    The following are the works suitable for persons with one blind eye and one weak eye enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Earth filling
    • Digging of Canals / Irrigation
    • Making concrete material in building constructions
    • Clearance of mud in trolleys
    • Moving concrete or other material require for building construction
    • Carrying bricks or cement
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls
    • Removing sludge from wells
    • Shifting the sludge in trolleys
    • Removing sludge from ponds
    • Collecting waste in iron vessels
    • Shifting content from filled pans to trolleys
    • Carrying stones
    • Leveling of land
    • Arranging stones
    • Digging required pits in a water conservation land
    • Farm Bunding
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water
    • Moving mud from pits to a different area

    The following are the works suitable for blind persons enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme. The Gram Panchayat should properly train these individuals to ensure that they are able to work conveniently.

    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation

    The following are the works suitable for persons with weak visions enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Planting trees
    • Filling soil
    • Digging of Canals / Irrigation
    • Making concrete material in building constructions
    • Clearance of mud in trolleys
    • Moving concrete or other material require for building construction
    • Carrying bricks or cement
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Sprinkling water on newly constructed walls
    • Removing sludge from wells
    • Shifting the sludge in trolleys
    • Removing sludge from ponds
    • Collecting waste in iron vessels
    • Shifting content from filled pans to trolleys
    • Carrying stones
    • Leveling of land
    • Arranging stones
    • Digging required pits in a water conservation land
    • Farm Bunding
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water
    • Moving mud from pits to a different area

    Identification of Works - Mentally Handicapped Persons

    The following are the works suitable for severely mentally challenged persons enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Earth filling
    • Digging of Canals / Irrigation
    • Carrying bricks or cement
    • Clearance of mud in trolleys
    • Moving concrete or other material require for building construction
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Shifting the sludge in trolleys
    • Removing sludge from ponds
    • Collecting waste in vessels
    • Shifting content from filled pans to trolleys
    • Carrying stones
    • Leveling of land
    • Arranging stones
    • Farm Bunding
    • Digging required pits in a water conservation land
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water
    • Moving mud from pits to a different area

    The following are the works suitable for mildly mentally challenged persons enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.

    • Arranging drinking water for workers
    • Taking care of children
    • Plantation
    • Earth filling
    • Clearance of mud in trolleys
    • Filling pebbles and sand in pans
    • Shifting the sludge in trolleys
    • Arranging pebbles, sprinkling water

    Planning for MGNREGA

    Two types of plans have to be drawn while implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    Perspective Plans - The District administration has to prepare a perspective plan for a period of five years. The developmental areas in the district have to be identified to create suitable programs.

    Developmental Plans - The Gram Panchayat is responsible for making the developmental plan and also prepare the labour budget.

    The following steps/timelines have to be followed while making the plans -

    Action Items

    Dates

    The Gram Sabha has to approve the GP Annual Plan, which has to be submitted to the Programme Coordinator.

    August 15th

    The Programme Coordinator has to submit the consolidated Gram Panchayat plans to the Block Panchayat.

    September 15th

    The Block Panchayat has to furnish its approval for the Block Annual Plan and submit that to the District Programme Coordinator.

    October 2nd

    The District Programme Coordinator has to present the District Annual Plan and the Labour Budget to the District Panchayat.

    November 15th

    The District Annual Plan has to be approved by the District Panchayat.

    December 1st

    The shelf of projects has to be reviewed by the District Programme Coordinator. After the labour budget has been approved, the list of projects for a Gram Panchayat has to be added in the Management Information System before December 15th.

    December 15th

    The Labour Budget has to be submitted to the Centre.

    December 31st

    The Ministry will evaluate the Labour Budget and suggest changes.

    January

    Empowered Committee meeting have to be held and the Labour Budget will be finalised.

    February

    The Labour Budget that is decided is sent to the State Governments. This will further be sent to the Districts, Gram Panchayats and Blocks.

    February / March

    The State Governments have to send the Opening Budget. The Centre will release this upfront.

    Before April 7th

    Permissible Works

    According to Paragraph 4(1) of Schedule I of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the following works are permitted -

    Works related to Natural Resources Management -

    • Water Harvesting / Water Conservation to increase ground water volume. Dams, dykes, stop dams, etc., can be constructed.
    • Watershed Management projects - Terracing / Contour Trenches / Boulder Checks / Contour Bunds / Development of Spring Sheds / Gabion Structures.
    • Construction and maintenance of drains and irrigation canals.
    • De-silting of tanks / Renovation of water bodies.
    • Plantation of trees/ Afforestation / Horticulture
    • Development of land

    Individual Assets - Vulnerable Groups (household in Paragraph 5 of Schedule I)

    • Improving land productivity by providing infrastructure for digging wells, water harvesting and farm ponds.
    • Improvement of livelihood via horticulture/ plantation / sericulture / farm forestry.
    • Wasteland development for cultivation
    • House construction as per any State/Central scheme with the unskilled wage component.
    • Promote livestock / Necessary infrastructure to be provided.
    • Promoting fisheries

    According to Schedule I, Para 5, individual assets have to be created for households in the following priority order -

    • Scheduled Castes
    • Scheduled Tribes
    • Nomadic tribes
    • De-notified tribes
    • Below the poverty line families
    • Households with women as heads
    • Households headed by physically handicapped persons
    • Land Reform Beneficiaries
    • Indira Awaas Yojana Beneficiaries
    • Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (2 of 2007) Beneficiaries
    • Marginal Farmers mentioned in the Agriculture Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008.

    NRLM Compliant Self-Help Groups - Infrastructure

    • Infrastructure to be given for past-harvest activities and bio-fertilisers / Storage for agricultural produce
    • Work sheds for self-help groups’ activities.

    Rural Infrastructure

    • Rural Sanitation Infrastructure / Construction of toilets / Management of liquid and solid waste
    • Connecting villages with rural roads
    • Pucca roads have to be constructed with culverts and drains.
    • Play field construction
    • Disaster Management / Construction of flood channels, drainage, storm drains, etc.
    • Building Food Grain Storage Structures
    • Producing building material for constructions
    • Rural public assets have to be maintained.

    Works not permitted - Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

    • Non-measureable and non-tangible works should not be taken up. For example - agricultural operations, removing pebbles, etc.
    • Shrub removal or boulder removal should not be separate projects but can be part of bigger projects like cultivation activities in barren lands and land development.
    • Agricultural operations and inputs are not permitted.
    • Pilot activity is not permitted under the Act.
    • Any expense towards activities that are not permitted will be recovered.
    • The funds from MGNREGS cannot be directed for acquisition of land.
    • Bore wells, tube wells and private wells cannot be constructed as per the MGNREGA. Group wells are allowed in CGWB approved semi-critical or critical areas.

    Muster Rolls

    Muster Rolls have to be maintained and signed by Gram Panchayat officials or the Programme Officer. Every muster roll will carry the worker’s list and will be in the local language or English. A record or register of the Muster Rolls will be maintained by the Gram Panchayat and the Intermediate Panchayat. A muster roll register will have the following information - muster roll issue date, serial number, name of work, financial sanction number, date of work, amount of work, agency name, designation, name and sign of the official who receives the muster roll.

    Two processes are followed for issuing muster rolls - e-muster and paper muster.

    E-Muster

    The e-muster carries the names of workers who have sought employment and have been allotted work. Since NREGASoft already has the details of the workers, the names are pulled from the recorded data and then printed into the e-muster. Here, muster roll numbers are usually given by the software and need not be entered manually. It is mandatory for a Programme Officer or any authority from the Gram Panchayat to sign the e-muster.

    Paper Muster Roll

    In certain States where e-muster is not available, the paper muster roll can be issued, duly signed by a Gram Panchayat official or the Programme Officer. Certain details like Panchayat name, worker category, work code, muster roll number, issuance date, number of labour, receiver’s name and the receiving date has to be entered in NREGASoft. Muster rolls must be issued on a weekly basis for regular payment of wages to MGNREGS workers.

    Management Information System - NREGASoft

    The Ministry of Rural Development has introduced a management information system called NREGASoft to easily track and monitor the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. NREGASoft is an e-Governance system which will be able to capture information regarding activities done by the Centre, State, District, Block or the Panchayat. This information is available both online and offline. Different stakeholders can access the required information. The Ministry uses the interface in English, while the District, State and Gram Panchayats can use it in the regional language. Citizens, workers, Gram Panchayats, Block Panchayats, Programme Officers, Engineers, District Programme Coordinator, Banks, Post Offices, Implementing Agencies, Rural Development Ministry of the Centre and the States can easily access this web based management information system.

    The various modules available in NREGASoft are as follows -

    • Worker Management Module - Contains information about workers from the time of registration to payment of wages.

    • Fund Management Module - Tracks fund transfers from the Central Government to the States and the concerned District authorities.

    • Works Management Module - Contains information on the different project commenced under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    • Grievance Redressal System - Enables workers and other officers to make complaints and track their resolutions.

    • Staffing position module - Improves communication between different stakeholders

    • Cost Estimation module - Carries a detailed record of the costs incurred under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme inclusive of laying of roads, construction of tanks, etc.

    • Solution Exchange / Knowledge Network - Stakeholders can add queries, exchange ideas and best practices.

    • Social Audit module - Contains details of social audits done by the Gram Panchayats.

    • Post Office/ Bank modules - Helps financial institutions to get details on wages and also enter the amount that has to be credited in every worker’s accounts.

    • Labour Budget Module - Gram Panchayats can benefit from this module by getting financial planning help. The Ministry can understand how much funds have to be released for the next financial year, depending on future projections.

    Social Audit

    A social audit is generally carried out to ensure that the implemented plan is achieving the required results and is in compliance with established regulations. A social audit is also done to check the quality of works being completed and assess any limitations. If any discrepancies are found, then the necessary changes can be suggested and then implemented.

    Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, social audits are conducted at any of the below given stages -

    • During registration and job card issuance
    • When village developmental plans are made
    • When cost and technical estimations are prepared for NREGA works
    • During implementation i.e., work allocation, work application and execution
    • During issuance and approval of funds
    • When implementing agencies spend the received funds on projects
    • When wage payments are done through post office or bank accounts

    A Social Audit Unit will be responsible to conduct the social audits and can deploy District Resource Persons, State Resource Persons, Block Resource Persons and Village Resource Persons to help the Gram Sabha to perform the audit.

    The different stakeholders participating in a MGNREGA social audit are Programme Officers, District Programme Coordinator, Social Audit Unit, State Government, Central Government and the State Government Guarantee Council.

    The Social Audit can be conducted once in six months across various Gram Panchayats and the District Programme Coordinator has to make the required arrangements. The workers and the villagers should be informed about the audit and the Programme Officer has to organise the Social Audit Unit fifteen days before the Social Audit Gram Sabha meeting. All the required documents regarding workers, projects, wages, accounts, measurements, grievances or previous social audit details, etc., have to be provided to perform the social audit. To initiate the social audit process, a Gram Sabha meeting is convened to discuss the implementation of the audit. The Social Audit Unit has to prepare the social audit reports to be displayed on the Gram Panchayat’s notice board for seven days. Social audit reports will also carry grievances and other findings. If there are criminal cases, the FIRs should be filed and grievance should be addressed with the district or block level authorities. An Action Taken Report on worker grievances discussed in the Gram Sabha should be sent to the Social Audit Unit. A report of the Gram Sabha meeting held has to be sent to the State Employment Guarantee Council (SEGC).

    Grievance Redressal

    As per section 19 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, State Governments can decide on the grievance redressal mechanism to be used at the block and district levels. The time takes for redressal should be as per the State’s Public Service Delivery Act. In case of non-existence of the Act, the timelines should be entered in the Grievance Redressal Rules. Complaints can be made through writing, via telephone or helplines. Every complaint will be acknowledged with a dated receipt. Complaint boxes kept at the Programme Officers or the District Programme Coordinators’ offices will be opened once a week to receive complaints. The Programme Officer is responsible for addressing the complaints within seven days. All types of complaints have to be recorded in the register and resolved within the stipulated time. Persons making complaints will be informed of the resolution using an acknowledgement card through registered post. Appeals will also be considered on a case by case basis. A monthly report has to be submitted from the Gram Panchayat to the Following stakeholders in the given order - Programme Officer / District Programme Coordinator / State Government / Government of India.

    Criteria for introducing new work category under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

    The State Government has the authority to introduce new projects if it finds the current works are not sufficient to give more employment opportunities. In order to do this the State Government should send a proposal to the Centre, which will review and approve the new projects.

    Any proposal sent by the State Government should carry the following details -

    • Justification for introducing new works
    • The area where the work will be done
    • Number of workers who can be employed under the new project
    • The type of durable assets that will be created.
    • As per MGNREGAS, the State has to explain as to how the new work will improve the livelihood of the rural population.
    • Other types of benefits like giving continuous job opportunities, improving the livelihood and economy of the district can be listed in the proposal.

    Additionally, the State Government’s proposal should also have a model project with the following details -

    • Cost per unit for the new project
    • Labour and material components
    • Semi-skilled/Skilled section
    • Accountability and complete transparency in the project
    • Result or outcome (asset creation) of the new project
    • Effects on the livelihood of the rural population
    • Additional benefits that can be got from the new work.

    The proposal should indicate that the new project is based on ongoing State activities, with examples quoted from existing projects carried out by Gram Panchayats and NGOs. The State Government’s proposal will be reviewed by the Central Governments and a pilot project might be approved to test the feasibility and results of the intended proposal. This pilot phase is generally approved for a period of three months, but not later than six months. If approved and the Centre intends to include the new project into the permitted works section, then the Ministry will make guidelines and also give the required approval to the State Government. Additionally, after reviewing the benefit of the said project, the Centre might also ask other State Governments to implement the same, even throughout the country. In cases, where the Central Government has found that the new project does not abide by the regulations and does not draw the required results, then the project might be withdrawn or changes might be suggested to ensure that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has been implemented efficiently.

    Fund Module in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

    Fund disbursement happens in the following manner under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

    Step 1

    Labour Budget approved by the Central Government. Funds are transferred from the Centre to the State Governments. This is done after the States submit an online proposal for release of funds. Two half-yearly sanctions are done by the Ministry of Rural Development/ Centre. The Expenditure-based Fund Release System ensures that funds are released in a streamlined manner to the States.

    Step 2

    The State Governments further release the funds to the State Employment Guarantee Fund (SEGF). A Minimum Fund Assured level is maintained at the SEGF to ensure that implementation of the MGNREGA is done properly.

    Step 3

    From the SEGF, the funds are disbursed to different Districts after assessing the demand from the State Fund reserves to be used for different MGNREGA projects and works.

    Step 4

    The e-FMS records information related to wage payment for workers, payment / cost of materials and Administration Expenditure. The administration expenditure includes cost of training, Information Education Communication (IEC) activities and facilities across gram Panchayats, MIS, quality management, grievance redressal systems, hiring professional and technical services, deployment of additional staff, social audits, evaluation, research and contingency expenditure.

    News About NREGA

    • NREGA Investigation Reveals Irregularities in Dobha Deals

      Indian Railways has made a proposition to take on construction work in its projects under the government’s Rural Jobs Programme, this will potentially bring thousands of crores of rupees into the coffers of this cash-strapped department. The Rural Development Ministry is yet to take a decision on its collaboration with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). The MGNREGS includes 153 types of employment and the Indian Railways will need maintain the accounts for the officials working under this scheme and maintain the Electronic Fund Management System for wage payments if the proposal is cleared. The committee will undertake activities such as construction of rural roads and a technical committee has been set up with standardised specifications for roads under this scheme.

      14th November 2016

    • NREGA investigation reveals irregularities in dobha deals

      A survey by Jharkhand NREGA unveils the fact that more than 25 % dobhas in the test distorts were either pending construction or were dug with machines. The figures on NRGEA management information system show a total of 257 completed dobhas. However, on examination it was revealed that 45 schemes that were shown to be complete as per records never really materialized. Pointing out at the double-dealer scheme, state convener for NREGA James Herenj said that out of Rs 61.87 lakh allocated for construction of dobhas, only Rs 34. 10 lakh has been actually spent. The search campaign was organized after repeated complaints on the irregularities were received by NREGA.

      9th November 2016

    • Jharkhand Government receives appreciation for MGNREGA implementation.

      The union ministry of rural development (MoRD) has applauded the Jharkhand Government for successfully implementing the MGNREGA scheme in the state. 50 more blocks were allotted by the Centre to include in the CFT project. Other State Governments have been advised to follow the Jharkhand model to implement the MGNREGA successfully in their states. Jharkhand has performed exceptionally when compared to Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh. Aparajita Sarangi, the Joint Secretary, MoRD, Government of India was hosting a three-day event in Jharkhand. The event also saw attendance from various government officials, the NREGA Commissioner, Jharkhand Siddhartha Tripathy and the Principal Secretary, Rural Development, Government of Jharkhand along with representatives from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

      4th July 2016

    • MGNREGA wages directly deposited into bank accounts

      Complaints about misuse of MGNREGA funds have prompted the government to adopt a new approach, utilising technology to ensure beneficiaries get their due. Under a new initiative, wages of workers employed under the scheme are being directly transferred to their bank accounts, eliminating the role of middlemen, thereby providing direct benefits to members. Accounts linked with Aadhar saw deposits to the tune of Rs 90,000 crore, with the government saving over Rs 3,000 crore by direct transfer of money. This move is likely to continue, with more beneficiaries set to get their wages transferred directly to their bank account.

      24th May 2016

    • Adequate savings achieved through DBT for subsidies.

      There has been substantial savings across different welfare schemes due to the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme for subsidies. This includes LPG distribution, Rs. 27,000 crore in PDS and MNREGA. Through DBT, over Rs. 61,000 crore was given to about 30 crore beneficiaries. This covered Rs. 21,000 crore in PAHAL for LPG distribution and about Rs. 25,000 crore in MGNREGS. Under MGNREGA alone, a savings of Rs. 3000 crore has been recorded for the year 2015 - 2016.

      19th May 2016

    • Anakapalle Minister Seeks Additional Work Days for Drought Affected Households under NREGA

      In the recent Lok Sabha meeting, the Anakapalle MP, Mr. Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, had raised the issue of the households affected by drought in the area and requested for additional work days under the MGNREGA. According to him, this would also help to prevent their migration to urban areas. Due to scarcity of rain and the drought that resulted due to the same, the drought hit state needs more funds to meet basic requirements. The Centre has released funds from the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) to 7 drought affected States, which has amounted up to Rs. 4000 Crores. Andhra Pradesh alone had received Rs. 280.19 Crores under this scheme.

      12th May 2016

    • MNREGA labourers of Jharkhand returned Rs. 5 to Modi as a sign of protest

      As a mark of protest on International Labour Day, NREGA labourers from Jharkhand united in the act of returning Rs 5 to the Prime Minister. This act was done to show protest against the meagre increase in NREGA wages. The amount is extremely below the minimum daily wages that labourers in Jharkhand are paid.

      Manika Block of Latehar district organised the protest campaign under the aegis of Grameen Swaraj Mazdoor Sangh (GSMZ). GSMZ is an organization of local rural workers. Since the previous year, the government has allowed only a meagre increase of Rs 5 in the wages (from Rs 162 to Rs 167 per day).

      10th May 2016

    • Developing “Green Canopy” on Highways can be linked to NREGA

      The Government of India is planning to construct “green canopy” on national highways at an approximate cost of Rs. 5,000 crore. This plan has a high potential to generate jobs in rural areas and can significantly benefit the economy. The Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, said that this greening of highways can be linked with NREGA scheme to create jobs. Multitudes of children and women can be employed to work on the highway “green canopy” scheme and this project would be a game changer for rural economies. Mr. Gadkari also encouraged the use of biofuels and organic fertilizers while transplanting trees on highways.

      5th May 2016

    • Karnataka CM inspects NREGA River Rejuvenation Project

      Karnataka Chief Minister Mr. Siddaramaiah inspected the rejuvenation work of Markandeya River in Belagavi district which has been adopted in large scale under NREGA scheme. Around 400 workers from Sulaga and Ambewadi villages are currently working on de-silting and rejuvenation of Markandeya river under NREGA scheme. It is important to note that this is the first river rejuvenation work to be adopted under NREGA. The district administration has taken up this work amidst drought conditions to create over 1000 days of employment under NREGA. This project will solve the double purpose of rejuvenating the water source and providing employment opportunities to people.

      After inspecting the work, CM ensured that enough funds will be allocated under other heads and steps would be taken to clear all encroachments.

      3rd May 2016

    • Government to implement drought-proofing through NREGS

      Below par monsoons over the last two years have left a number of states reeling under drought conditions, impacting employment and revenue generation. In a bid to ensure that these conditions are handled effectively, the government is aiming to start drought-proofing work, utilising resources under NREGS. The mission is to ensure that monsoon rainfall is used effectively, ensuring water is harvested as per needs, helping drought impacted states prepare for the next year. Funds have already been released for this purpose, with close to Rs 31,000 crore disbursed by various agencies.

      28th April 2016

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