The Mahatma Ghandi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is crafted to ensure livelihood to people in rural areas.
Every household is entitled of 100 days employment under the law. Any of its adult members upon application is guaranteed to get a causal work within 15 days. In case the work is not provided in said period of time, he/she is rightful of an allowance.
A laborer covered by this Act, has to get a statutory minimum wage of an agricultural labourer in the state, unless the central government “notifies” a different norm which is basically in a rate of Rs. 60 a day minimum. The wage has to be paid directly to a laborer weekly or in any case not later than the fortnight.
The law is also aimed at empowering rural women, reducing urban migration and fostering social equity. It is initially implemented in 200 districts. Now, it covers districts in the country.
Other Main Provisions
- Eligibility: Any person who is above the age of 18 and resides in rural areas is entitled to apply for work.
- Entitlement: Any applicant is entitled to work within 15 days, for as many days he/she applied, subject to a limit of 100 days per household a year.
- Distance: Work is to be provided within a radius of 5 kilometres from applicant’s residence if possible and in any case within the Block. If work is provided beyond 5 kilometres, a travel allowance has to be paid.
- Wages: Workers are entitled to a statutory minimum wage applicable to agricultural labourers in the state, unless the Central Government “notifies” a different wage rate.
- Timely payment: Workers are to be paid weekly or in any case not later than a fortnight. All payments are to be made through bank or post office accounts.
- Unemployment allowance: If work is not provided within 15 days, applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance: one third of the wage rate for the first thirty days, and one half thereafter.
- Worksite facilities: Labourers are entitled to various facilities at the worksite such as clean drinking water, shade for periods of rest, emergency health care, and child-minding.