News: According to Government data, over 11 crore people worked under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) during the financial year 2020-21.

About MGNREGS: It is one of the world’s largest employment guarantee programs.

Launched in: The scheme was initially launched in the 200 most backward rural districts of the country in 2006-07. It was later extended to an additional 130 districts during 2007-08 and to the entire country from 2008-09 onward.

Beneficiary: 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), Government of India in association with state governments monitors the implementation of the scheme.

Key Features of the scheme:

  • It is a 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 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.

Key Facts Related to MGNREG Scheme during 2020-21:

  • During the financial year 2020-21, around 11 crore people worked under the MGNREGS.
  • The expenditure on MGNREGS has also increased. In 2020-21, the total expenditure was 62.31% higher than in 2019-20.
  • As part of the economic package during the Covid-19 pandemic, the government announced additional funding of Rs 40,000 crore for the MGNREGS over and above the budgetary allocation of 2020-21.
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