Ojaank IAS Academy

OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

Need For NREGA Reforms

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The plan was created as a social policy that ensures “the right to work”. To improve the quality of life in rural India, the local government must constitutionally offer at least 100 days of pay work. The Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, is overseeing the scheme’s implementation in collaboration with state governments.

Wage employment will be granted to the applicant within 15 days of filing the application or from the day work is requested. Right to unemployment benefits if no work is found within fifteen days of making an application or from the day work is sought. Social audits of MGNREGA projects are required, which promotes accountability and transparency.

The Gram Sabha is the primary platform for wage earners to express themselves and make requests. The Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat approve and prioritise the MGNREGA shelf of works.

Because of their lower administrative ability, poorer countries struggle harder to adapt than richer countries. The program’s “regressive” expenditure structure, in which poorer states spend less NREGA monies than wealthier states. Its most fundamental design ideas have been lost or purposefully neglected. The federal government’s wage payment system has gotten even more complicated.

For example, before a worker’s paycheck may be authorised, seven or more functionaries must sign off (stage one of the wage payment cycle). One of the primary reasons why state governments are unable to realise the full potential of NREGA is the central government’s intermittent and irregular budget disbursements. Inadequate funding often discourage and frequently reject employment demand.

Worksites are not opened on schedule, and the work given is insufficient to meet demand. The majority of improvements, such as the computerised fund management system, asset geo-tagging, and a nationwide mobile monitoring system, have centred on centralization. They hampered implementation.

Address salary payment delays to reestablish workers’ trust in the programme. The payment procedure must be simplified by the Ministry of Rural Development. Transparency on outstanding salary payments in stages one and two so that bottlenecks may be identified and resolved.

Increase implementation capacity where spending is low rather than reducing expenditure where employment generation is high. Instead of focusing just on spending and income poverty, exclusion must be addressed at the household level.

NREGA appears to be quite effectively targeted, aiding the poorest, particularly SC and ST households. Instead of being used as a tool by bureaucrats to centralise and control things, the NREGA online Management Information System may be utilised in areas where rights are infringed. Run the programme as if it were a demand-based legislation, not a scheme.

Make any suggested reforms participatory: Public engagement is required to provide NREGA with an institutional framework. The government should make a concerted effort to map the impact of each of its “reforms” on NREGA access and expenditure, particularly in impoverished states.

Alternative measures adopted to solve NREGA issues: The Ministry of Rural Development created the Kaam Mango Abhiyan in 2013 in response to dwindling demand for NREGA jobs. The Union Ministry of Rural Development began the “ask for job” campaign with the assistance of civil society groups in six districts across six states.

Cases of unpaid labour or wages: 53,000 people wanted work in Katihar area and were given dated receipts. The Ministry let down workers who demanded work since funding were not given to states on schedule.

Workers in Katihar’s Barari block went on indefinite strike because they had not been given employment or paid for the job they had done. Almost 3,000 female NREGA workers in Muzaffarpur area are criticising the NMMS app after it failed to record their attendance. Their pay have been withheld.

States that spend more money are better at executing the programme because they have greater resources (as multiple studies, including the government’s own Economic Survey, determined in 2016). Reforms cannot be predicated on improved targeting for a universal, demand-based social security scheme like NREGA.

The emphasis must be on exclusion rather than “errors” in inclusion. Panchayats, blocks, and districts where SC and ST families’ employment is lower than their population share must be recognised. This would point to areas where the most marginalised people are being pushed out of the programme.

Panchayats where the average pay paid is less than the announced wage rate must also be recognised. This would suggest areas where the implementing authority should be hauled up for failing to finish work. Given the financial requirements of this programme, the General Financial Rules must be reinvented such that budgetary allocations remain flexible in response to the need for funding by states in reaction to work demands.

State governments have played a critical part in NREGA’s triumphs and failures, and any recommended improvements must be presented in State assemblies as well as Parliament. Include representatives from civil society organisations, labour unions, and self-help groups in the debate.

The central government must be held responsible for denying NREGA employees’ benefits as a result of top-down “reforms” that workers had no say in devising. Reforms to NREGA must promote employees’ access to entitlements with convenience and dignity, rather than focusing solely on administrative and budgetary efficacy.


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