Govt to Divide “MGNREGA Wages” into SC/ST/Others Categories

What is the News?

The Central Government has issued an advisory to all states to divide the wage payments under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. The MGNREGA Wages will be divided into separate categories for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and others from the Financial Year 2021-22.

Current Method of Wage Payment under MGNREGA:
  • The existing system does not divide the wages under the MGNREGA scheme into separate categories. This means there is no category wise provision of wage payment.
  • However, the Ministry of Rural Development maintains separate data on the number of SC/ST/women employed under the scheme.
Possible Reasons for this move by Government:
  • According to experts, the possible reason why the government might be dividing MGNREGA payments category wise would be to know the exclusive allocation made for SC/ST groups.

Concerns:

  • This move will complicate the payment system under MGNREGA more rather than simplifying it.
  • Moreover, the experts fear that this move is meant to reduce funding under the Scheme.
About MGNREGA:
  • MGNREGA is an employment guarantee act. It was introduced in 2005 through the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,2005.
  • Under the scheme, every rural household whose adult member volunteers to do unskilled manual work is entitled to get at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year.
  • Implementation: Ministry of Rural Development(MRD) in association with state governments monitors the implementation of the scheme.
  • Features of the act:
    • Demand-driven scheme: Worker to be hired when he demands and not when the Government wants it.
    • Gram Panchayat is mandated to provide employment within 15 days of work application, failing which the worker is entitled to unemployment allowance.
    • Payment of wages within 15 days of competition of work, failing which worker is entitled to delay compensation of 0.05%/ day of wages earned.

Source: The Hindu

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