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Centre makes major changes in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Development Act

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 - 9:44am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Signing in the attendance register is not good enough anymore for the labourers working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Development Act (MNREGA) to get their wages.

In a slew of amendments, the ministry of rural development has brought in key changes in MNREGAto free the flagship scheme of mismanagement and corruption. “Now, a person will not get paid just because he or she signed in the attendance register. Wage payment will take place on the basis of measurement or assessment of work done by the labourer. We have made a few amendments in MNREGA to make this scheme more productive,” said union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.

MNREGA has been under fire for quite a while now for not producing substantial results. Other major amendment done in schedules 1 and 2  include unemployment allowance for those who don’t get work under scheme. “This has been the most important issue in the last few years. No state since 2005, when this scheme came into force, has given unemployment allowance to a single labourer which by rule should mean that no labourer is sent back without work. But reality is different and there are many who don’t get work under scheme even when they ask for it. The Centre would ask the state governments to pay unemployment allowance to those who came for work but don’t get it,” added Jairam.

The ministry would also ensure that a compensation of 0.05 per cent per day would to paid to a labourer in case of delay in payment of wages beyond 15 days and the inflated amount will be paid by the officer concerned from his own pocket.

In another major amendment, the labourer working under MNREGA will be entitled to have a toilet at his house and Rs10,000 will be paid under MNREGA from the ministry. Under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, MNREGA only contributes Rs 4500 out of the said ten thousand, and rest amount of Rs 3200 and 900 is paid by the state government and the beneficiary himself respectively.

What to expect
Wage payment to be made exclusively on the basis of measurement of work done and not on the basis of attendance.

Unemployment allowance to those who are not provided work as per demand to be calculated and put on the website automatically by ministry. The responsibility of payment will remain with the state governments as per the act.

Every job card will now be entitled to build an individual toilet and the MGNREGA contribution goes up from the current Rs45,00 to Rs10,000.


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