Implementation of MGNREGS during COVID-19 Pandemic

Mahatma Gandhi NREGS is a demand driven wage employment scheme. Every adult member of a household in a rural area, having job card (as per Mahatma Gandhi NREG Act), is eligible for a demand for a job under the scheme. There is no provision to register a Job card holder categorised as migrant labourers/ family in the job card in the scheme. A job card can be issued to a migrant labour/family as per the provision of the Act against a demand by the migrant labour/family. A total of 86,81,928 new job card during the current FY so far has been issued as compared to 64,95,823 new job card issued during the FY 2019-20. State-wise fund released/spent under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Mahatma Gandhi NREGS) from April 2020 to August, 2020 is at Annexure-I.

So far as enhancement of guaranteed days of employment is concerned, the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA envisages for providing 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to each household in rural areas whose adult members volunteers to do unskilled manual work. In addition to this, there is a provision for additional 50 days of unskilled wage employment in a financial year in drought/natural calamity notified rural areas. As per Section 3(4) of the Mahatma Gandhi NREG Act, 2005, the State Governments may make provisions for providing additional days beyond the period guaranteed under the Act from their own funds.

State-wise release/expenditure under wage for Mahatma Gandhi NREGS for financial   years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 (from April 2020 to August 2020 is at Annexure-II.

The details of household provided employment is at Annexure-III(a) and the details of persondays generated is at Annexure-III(b) between March-August 2020 and corresponding period in 2019.

As per section 6(1) of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA), the Central Government may, by notification, specify the wage rate for its beneficiaries. Accordingly, the Ministry of Rural Development notifies Mahatma Gandhi NREGA wage rate every year for States/UTs. To compensate the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA workers against inflation, the Ministry of Rural Development revises the wage rate every year based on change in Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour (CPI-AL) . The wage rate is made applicable from 1st April of each Financial Year. However, each State/UT can provide wage over and above the wage-rate notified by the Central Government. The wage rate for the States/UTs for the Financial Year 2020-21, notified on 23rd March, 2020 is at Annexure-IV.

The wage rate under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA is fixed in pursuance of section 6(1) of the Act. This department does not maintain minimum wage rate of different State centrally.

The Central Government, with active support of the State Governments, has so far been able to meet the demands of works with adequate funding. During current financial year, as on 10.09.2020, the Ministry has released Rs. 60,44,098.23 lakh till now to the States & UTs for implementation of Scheme. The details of the comparison of personday generated during the period between 2019 and 2020 is given below:

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