Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
The objective of this Scheme is to provide upto 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose unemployed adult members are willing to do unskilled manual labour. The funding pattern of MGNREGS is 95.05:4.95 between the Centre and the State respectively. The entire cost of wages for unskilled manual workers is paid by the Central Government.
Key Stakeholders at different levels are-
At the Central level, Central Employment Guarantee Council CEGC) under the chairmanship of the Minister of Rural Development, Ministry of Rural Development. This CEGC is responsible for advising the Central Govt. on all MGNREGA related matters.
At the State level, we have the State Employment Guarantee Council (SEGF) which is responsible for advising the State Government on the implementation of the schemes and evaluate and monitor it.
At the District level, we have the District Programme Coordinator and the District Programme Officer whose overall responsibility is ensuring that the scheme is implemented according to the Act.
At the Block level, we have Programme Officer whose chief responsibility is to ensure that anyone who applies for work gets employment within 15 days, apart from other responsibility that the scheme may entail.
At the Village level, the Village Employment Council (VEC) is the pivotal body for implementation of the scheme and is responsible for planning of works, receiving application for registration, issuing Job Cards etc.
Rights and Entitlements of workers
1. Every household residing in any rural area can apply for a Job Card which contain names of all adult members of the household. Job card must be issued within 15 days from date of application. It must be updated regularly and must remain with the household at all times.
2. Every adult member of a registered household whose name appears in the Job Card is entitled to apply/register demand for unskilled manual work under the Scheme which will be provided within 15 days from the date for which work is demanded.
3. All workers have the right to participate in the Gram Sabha and decide on the works to be taken up and included in Shelf-of projects for their village.
4. As far as possible, the worker will be allocated to a worksite preferably within 5 km of his/her residence. If work is provided beyond 5 kms, the worker has a right to get travel allowance.
5. The worker is entitled to the following worksite facilities:- medical aid, drinking water and shade for children. If there are more than five children accompanying women at the worksite, one woman worker should be deputed to look after them. Entitlements in case of injuries, accidents and deaths are also stated in detail in Para 25-28 of the Schedule II of the Act.
6. The worker has the right to receive the notified wage rate for the specified region and to receive wages within 15 days after work has been completed. Wages are to be credited directly into the bank/post office accounts of workers and no cash payment of wages is allowed unless specifically allowed by the Government of India.
7. Social Audit of all expenditure of the Scheme at all levels is to be conducted by the Gram Sabha. The executing agency shall make available all relevant documents to the Gram Sabha for Social Audit.
Permissible and Non-permissible works
The Schedule –I of the MGNREG Act provides list of permissible and non-permissible works. The Act also mandates that 60% of works should be related to ‘..agriculture and allied activities through development of land, water and trees..’ The permissible works can be broadly categorised into four (4) parts:
Category A : Public works relating to Natural Resources Management (NRM)
Category B : Community assets or individual assets
Category C : Common infrastructure for NRLM compliant SHGs
Category D : Rural infrastructure
Works which are non-tangible, not measurable and repetitive in nature cannot be taken up under MGNREGS.
Unskilled wage was given Rs.91/- per day as per the Minimum Wages, 1948, and enhanced to Rs.103/- per day during 2009 and the rate was enhanced annually since then to meet the requirement of the people. The unskilled wage rate at present is Rs. 233/- per day.
Complaints and Redressal
The Government of Mizoram formulated the ‘Mizoram Grievance Redressal Rules, 2009’ for dealing with any complaint by any person in respect of implementation of the Mizoram State Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and laid down the procedure for disposal of such complaints. Important points are-
1. Complaint shall be filed at Village Council/Block Office/ District Office/State Cell Office to any authorized Officer.
2. Complaint Box shall be placed at the offices of the Programme Officer, Deputy District Programme Coordinator, and District Programme Coordinator wherein any aggrieved person can post his/her complaint in writing stating his/her grievances and furnishing his/her name and address in full. No anonymous complaint shall be entertained. Complaint Box shall be cleared at the first and last working hour daily for formal processing.
3. Complaints shall be filed in the prescribed format (Format-IV) with specific details and contact information of the complainant as far as possible if complaint is submitted orally, the receiver shall fill in the form in the presence of the complainant and issue Acknowledgement Receipt
4. The receipt and disposal of complaints/appeal shall be recorded in the Register.
5. The monitoring of disposal of the complaints shall be done every month at the next higher level from state government to District Programme Coordinator and District Programme Coordinator to Programme Officer and programme Officer to Village Employment Council.
6. The Complainants must also be informed of the action taken in writing through registered post with acknowledgement card. It shall contain a feedback for complainant to record his satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If no communication is received within a month of receipt of Action Taken Report, the file may be closed.
1. Appeals against the orders of the Village Council shall be made to the Programme Officer; those against the orders of the Programme Officer shall be made to the District Programme Coordinator; those against the District Programme Coordinator shall be made to the State Employment Guarantee Commissioner.
2. All Appeals shall be made within 45 days of the order issued.
3. All appeals shall be disposed off within one month.
4. The complainants feeling aggrieved over the decision can make appeal to the next higher authorities. However, the decision of the State Employment Guarantee Commissioner shall be final in respect of complaints/appeals on the implementation of MGNREGS within Mizoram.
5. The guilty shall be penalized to pay a fine up to `1000 under Section 25.
In keeping with the principles of transparency and accountability, the State Government established the office of Ombudsman for expeditious redressal of grievances regarding implementation of MGNREG Scheme. Some of its functions are: -
1. Receive complaints from MGNREGA workers and others on specified matters, consider such complaints and facilitate their disposal in accordance with law.
2. Issue direction for conducting spot investigation, lodge FIRs against the erring parties, initiate proceeding suo moto.