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Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee completes five years

Zakir Hussein,, INVC,, Delhi,, The nation today witnessed successful completion of five years of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Addressing a large gathering at Vigyan Bhawan on this occasion in New Delhi today, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called upon the states to strengthen the Gram Sabhas for rural empowerment. He said the Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Panchayati Raj has jointly chalked out a plan to strengthen the Panchayats. Technical Units will be set up in Gram Panchayats and to improve the managerial efficiency every unit will have a Panchayat Development officer and one Junior Engineer. Focus would be on Left Wing Extremism(LWE) affected districts and the districts where more than Rs.100 crore have been spent under MGNREGA. Referring to the steps taken by the Government to address the concerns of MGNREGA workers, the Prime Minister said wages under MGNREGA have been hiked by 17-30% this year and the transparency and accountability in payment of wages would be ensured by the help of modern ICT enabled techniques like Biometric hand held devices. He made it clear that the time has come to improve the delivery mechanism of the Act so as to extend the employment benefits to the genuine persons. Highlighting the achievements under MGNREGA Dr. Singh said so far under this programme a total of 880 crore person days work has been generated of which 52% beneficiaries are from SC/ST while 47% beneficiaries are women. Efforts are being made to chalk out Micro-Plans at rural level by involving the local people. These plans will decide the category and place of works to be done under MGNREGA besides involving rural masses in the implementation, monitoring and social auditing. The UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi while expressing her happiness on the overall performance of MGNREGA said this is also the time to learn from the experience and to prepare for the challenges ahead. She termed the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA as a life line of the rural people which has not only been a source of empowerment for them but also a means of social security. She said half of the job holders are women and the increased wages under this Act has helped in checking the distress migration of labours. Lauding the creation of Green Jobs under MGNREGA, the UPA Chairperson said that water harvesting and ground water recharge works are not only a short term employment but capable of ensuring permanent employment opportunities. Expressing concerns over reported instances of misappropriations in wage payment she said remedial steps should be taken in this regard. Mrs. Gandhi laid emphasis on strengthening the social auditing and said the cooperation of SHGs and NGOs should be taken. to increase the land productivity. In his inaugural address at the MGNREGA Sammelan -2011 ,the Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh said we will have to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions in the days to come and the Panchayats should be made accountable to the Gram Sabhas in each and every respect. He said that MGNREGA has been the scheme of Aam admi and it has transformed the rural India. The Minister underlined the need to ensure transparency and accountability so that the benefit of the scheme reaches out to the needy and the poor in rural areas in time. Mr. Deshmukh lamented the shortcomings in the implementation and said it is high time we address the issue on priority while strengthening the Gram Sabhas. Under MGNREGA in the financial year 2010-11, upto December, 4.10 crore households have been provided employment and 145 crore persondays have been generated. The average wage earned has risen from Rs 65 per person day in 2006 to Rs 100 by 2011. To further give fillip to income of the MGNREGA workers wage rates have been revised. The notification has linked MGNREGA wage rates to CPI-AL with a corresponding annual increase. The notified wage rates have led to enhancement of wage rates by 17-30%. Another important attraction of the Sammelan today was demonstration of demonstration of Bio-Metric based ICT enabled MGNREGA process to ensure transparency and accountability in payment of wages to the right person in time was also done . During the Sammelan, “Report to People on Mahatma Gandhi NREGA” showcasing the performance under the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA over the past five years was also released along with the “Rozgar Sutra” highlighting the provisions, rights and entitlements under the act.In addition three booklets, namely “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act MGNREGA”, Guide Book for Gram Panchayats in Hindi and English and “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act MGNREGA” for Laborours were also released. Ten District Programme Coordinators one each from the States of Manipur, Sikkim, Karnataka, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil nadu and Twelve Gram Panchayats from seven states were awarded for their exemplary performance under the Scheme of Awards for Best Performing Gram Panchayats for the year 2009-10. These include Khairwahi (Dondi Block) and Machandur (Durg Block) from Durg District of Chhattisgarh; Kalauna (Dadwali Block) from Sirsa Disstrict of Haryana; Nedumkandam (Nedumkandam Block) from Idduki and Kottukal (Athiyannoor Block) from Thiruvanthapuram districts of Kerala; Pandurna (Mukhed Block) from Nanded district of Maharashtra; Pampura (Asind Block) from district Bhilwara and Badwas Choti (Kushalgarh Block) from Banswara district of Rajasthan; Chuba Phong (Namathang Block) from South Sikkim district of Sikkim and Dhamna (Mauranipur Block) and Dhamna Khurd (Chirgaon Block) from district Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Later in the day “Voices from the field” an interactive session was organized wherein the workers who have completed 100 days of work under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA and the Sarpanchs from the rural areas shared their experiences along with District Project Co-ordinators. The District Programme Coordinators and their district teams, bank and post office functionaries and civil society organizations would be felicitated for their exemplary work. Over 1200 participants from the country took part in the deliberations. These include among others the State Rural Development Ministers, the Deputy Chairperson and Members of Planning Commission, Members of Central Employment Guarantee Council, awardees of excellence in NREGA administration, awardees of Rozgar Jagrookta Puraskar Scheme, awardees of financial inclusion for Banks and Post Offices, representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions, District Program Co-ordinators and his team members, Senior State Government Officials from the Rural Development Ministry, Heads of Financial institutions including Post Offices, Banks and Insurance Companies. It is expected that the deliberations on the five years of completion of MGNREGA would go a long way towards the march of the nation towards inclusive growth and development . [caption id="attachment_22774" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh presenting award for for Initiative in MGNREGA Administration for the year 2009-10 at the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan-2011, on the completion of five years of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, in New Delhi on February 02, 2011. The Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Minister of State for Rural Development, Shri Pradeep Jain and the Chairperson, National Advisory Council, Smt. Sonia Gandhi are also seen."]The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh presenting award for for Initiative in MGNREGA Administration for the year 2009-10 at the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan-2011, on the completion of five years of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, in New Delhi on February 02, 2011. 	The Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Minister of State for Rural Development, Shri Pradeep Jain and the Chairperson, National Advisory Council, Smt. Sonia Gandhi are also seen.[/caption]

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