Restructuring MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act)

Question for Mains -
 Q1.Analyze the government's decision of restructuring Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), describe its likely implications.
Q2. Throw light on the success of MGNREGA towards providing aid to rural community. Discuss the challenges faced by the government & measures adopted for its proper implementation.

Government is likely to restructure Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) by linking employment-with development in rural areas.

January 2014, Ministry of rural development issued a directive to provide 150 days of wage employment under MGNREGA for Scheduled Tribe households living in forest areas. The move will benefit about Eight lakh people in the states like Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, The additional 50 days of employment beyond the stipulated 100 days under MGNREGA.

The Ministry of Rural Development thinks that this is an important initiative since a lot of land-levelling, plantation and other activities are required to be undertaken on these lands to make them more productive. The additional days through MGNREGA will allow the households to undertake additional work on their own land. Further, FRA beneficiaries have already been automatically included for assistance under the Indira Awaas Yojana.

Achievements of MGNREGA in the seven years of its implementation:

  • Ensuring livelihood for people in rural areas.
  • Large scale participation of women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCVSTs) and other traditionally marginalised sections of society.
  • Increasing the wage rate in rural areas and strengthening the rural economy through the creation of infrastructure assets.
  • Facilitating sustainable development, and Strengthening PRIs by involving them in the planning and monitoring of the scheme.


  • Fabrication of job cards
  • Delay in payment of wages
  • Non-payment of unemployment allowances
  • Large number of incomplete works

In a bid to monitor the performance of states in implementing the rural job scheme MGNREGA down to the gram panchayat level, the centre has set up a number of indicators against which their performance will be measured.

(Measures adopted by the govt. to ensure its proper implementation):

  • The states from now on will have to periodically report on these indicators which includes- rate of work completion, percentage of wage paid within l5 days, percentage person days generated, and percentage of households completing 100 days of work, among others.
  • States will provide information on each indicator at the level of district and gram panchayat thus enabling the centre to compare the performance of states, districts and gram panchayat.
  • Centre has also asked the states to use information and communication tools (ICT) like IVRS, call centres and the internet to capture the demand for work across the country.
  • More funds for asset-creation, penalty for late disbursal of funds by the Centre and removing the five kilometer restriction for seeking work.

In its latest “World Of Work Report”, International Labour Organisation (ILO) has lauded the role played by the scheme in improving the lot of the rural poor while pointing out that three out for four workers in India were in vulnerable jobs, with women bearing the maximum brunt, said due to MGNREGA urban migrant workers who lost export-oriented jobs after the global financial crisis, were able to rely on stable wage income among their families back home. In India, where no social protection for workers, the continued functioning of the MGNREGA ensured the survival of the rural population by providing an additional source of income for those who had previously relied on remittances from urban migrant.

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