The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005

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The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act established in the year 2005. The main objective behind the establishment of the Act is to enhance livelihood to people in rural areas by providing them 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a year. Employment given to each and every adult member of a household who volunteer he himself to do unskilled manual work. The Act in its first phase initially notified only in 200 districts of on February 2nd 2006 and in the financial year 2007 -2008, it extended to additional districts by numbering more than 100 districts. National Rural Employment Guarantee Act covers almost every rural areas in the Country.

Act for its establishment and to cover all the objectives laid under Act splitted the Act under 14 heads. Under Section 4 of the Act, Scheme which to be formulated by the State Government has to confirm and fulfill the parameters as laid in Schedules I and II Act. The Scheme called by the name National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) which followed by the name of the State, Scheme implemented as Centre Scheme but it has to share the cost between Centre and State as specified in Act. Under Section 13, Panchayat at district level, intermediate and village levels the principal authorities of planning held for the proper upliftment of Scheme. Every Programme Officer as vests in the Act has the authority under Section 6 to look after the matter or to fulfill the objective under the Act as that each and every applicant is provided with the manual work or not as specified in the Act.

The objectives of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA )been very wide as it fulfills the basic criteria of rural need. Any adult member who in need of job can apply for registration in writing or orally to Gram panchayat, Gram Panchayat after verification issue a Job Card within 15 days of application by attesting the photograph of the adult member who willing to work under NREGA. Work given to the workers held within 5 km of village distance and in case of any work not specified in 5km extra 10% of wages should be given to the workers as specified in Act. All the persons who employed under NREGA whether men or women all are provided equal wages as specified in Minimum Wages Act, 1948, all wages are paid on term of daily wage rate, disbursement of wages can be done on weekly basis if not it should not beyond a fortnight and wages should not been less than 60 Rupees as specified by the Central Government. Burden relating to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act shifts on Central Government as it bears the maximum cost of NREGA which includes wages cost of unskilled manual labor and material cost. The Audit of NREGA called as the social audit which includes all expenses and inputs has to be done by the Gram Sabha, all accounts and matters relating to the NREGA should be transparent and it has to be avail for public scrutiny.

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Gram Sabha has certain power and functions under the Act, it has the authority to recommend the works which taken ups by the NREGS and conducts social audit for the NREGS. Gram Panchayat has special authority under Section 16 (3) (4) as it has to prepare, develop and maintain a plan of work and it should be forwarded to the programme office for scrutiny of work. It been the discretion of the Programme Officer or Gram Panchayat under Section 10 to direct any person or to give permission to any person to do any type of work as permissible under Act.

NREGA provides guarantees wage employment to the people belong to rural as statutory and it provides a right framework for wage employment. Act by implementing Scheme makes Employment as a right which fully depend on the worker who exercise his choice to apply for his job registration and  employer can on its own seeks durability of employment. Act designated to create a basic structure to States by providing the employment opportunities to its persons as ninety percent of cost been borne by the Centre. Unlike earlier wage employment programmes NREGA also based on allocation and transfer of resource under NREGA was based on the demand for employment by providing incentive to States to meet the employment needs of the poor.

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by Priyadarshini Chandrasekar