Implemented on February 02, 2006, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is going to complete 10 years tomorrow. During the course of time, the expenditure on the the rural employment scheme has amounted to Rs 313,844.55 crore and out of this, 71 per cent has been spent on wage payments to workers, a Government release said today.
The percentage of Scheduled Caste workers has consistently been about 20 per cent and Scheduled Tribe workers has been about 17 per cent. A total of 1,980.01 crore persondays have been generated.
Under the scheme, sustainable assets have been created linked to conservation of natural resources and overall development of Gram Panchayats. More than 65 per cent of the works taken up are linked to agriculture and allied activities. The achievements of a decade are a cause of national pride and celebration. The 57 per cent of all workers are women, well above the statutory requirement of 33 percent.
For the future, the Government of India will focus on simplification and strengthening of procedures for the implementation of the MGNREGA. A Master Circular is being issued today which consolidates all key instructions from the Central Government on the implementation of the Act. Beyond this, states are encouraged to innovate with flexibility.
The convergent planning exercise currently underway in 2569 backward blocks in the country will be consolidated in the State Rural Development Plan (SRDP) which will be the basis of implementation and monitoring for the coming year.
Concurrent social audits and community monitoring will be undertaken. There will be a renewed focus on sustainable individual assets to benefit the poor and vulnerable households with the following targets; 5 lakh farm ponds and 10 lakh Vermi and NADEP compost pits in the FY 2016-17. There will be a continued focus on construction of Anganwadi buildings and individual household latrines.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has also applauded MGNREGA. Its World Development Report 2014 had described the rural job guarantee scheme as a ‘stellar example of rural development’. Giving special endorsement to the programme, the report had credited the programme for not just unleashing a ‘revolution in rural India’ but establishing a model of inclusive development. "India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act illustrates how good governance and social mobilisation go hand-in-hand," the Report said.