For the first time, Assam exceeded the Central Government’s MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) man-day generation target by more than 40% in fiscal 2021-22.
As a result, the Centre has to adjust Assam’s creation man-days target. The state, on the other hand, exceeded the amended goal as well.
The creation of man-days under the MGNREGA is a priority for Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He met with the Minister of Panchayat & Rural Development (P&RD) Ranjeet Kumar Dass, the P&RD Commissionerate, and the P&RD Department on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, according to sources, the Centre has set a goal for Assam to generate 6.5 crore man-days in 2021-22.
However, the state met that goal in December 2021, prompting the federal government to lower the objective to 7.30 crore man-days during that fiscal year.
The state created roughly 9.16 crore man-days at the conclusion of the fiscal year 2021-22 (March 31), more than 40% more than the original target of 6.5 crores.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
MGNREGA is labour law and social security programme that protects people’s right to work.
It aims to improve rural livelihood stability by giving at least 100 days of pay employment to every household whose adult members volunteer to conduct unskilled manual labour in a fiscal year.
P.V. Narasimha Rao proposed the act for the first time in 1991. It was finally approved by the parliament in 2006, and it went into effect in 625 districts across India.
Moreover, NREGA was expanded to encompass all of India’s districts on April 1, 2008, based on the pilot experience.
The government describes the law as “the world’s largest and most ambitious social security and public works programme.” The World Bank called it a “stellar example of rural development” in its 2014 World Development Report.
The MGNREGA was created with the goal of “improving livelihood stability in rural regions by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed pay employment to every household whose adult members volunteer to conduct unskilled manual labour in a financial year.”
Another goal of MGNREGA is to develop long-term assets (such as roads, canals, ponds, wells). Employment must be available within 5 kilometres of an applicant’s home, and minimum earnings must be paid.
Applicants are eligible for unemployment benefits if no work is found within 15 days of their application. As a result, employment under the MGNREGA is a legal right.
Gram panchayats would be the primary implementers of the MGNREGA (GPs). Contractor participation is prohibited. Work that requires a lot of efforts, such as building infrastructure for water collection, drought alleviation, and flood control, is recommended.
NREGA can help conserve the environment, empower rural women, reduce rural-urban migration, and encourage social fairness, among other things, in addition to providing economic security and generating rural assets.
As a result of this accomplishment, the State Government has set a goal of creating 20 crore man-days in the fiscal year that began on April 1, 2022, in order to supply more jobs to the state’s job cardholders.
New MGNREGA Scheme likely to be launched
A new MGNREGA scheme called Amrit Sarovar is also in the works to create jobs in the state. This plan could be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to arrive in Assam on April 28.
Under this scheme, each district of the state is required to dig 75 ponds, each having at least seven bighas of land.
The Fisheries Department and the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana will assist the P&RD Department with the scheme’s implementation.
The scheme’s main goals are water conservation, fisheries, revenue-generating, and job development.