Five Years Of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA

It has been five years since the launch of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) launch from Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh on February 2, 2006. The act has been instrumental in raising the productivity, increasing the purchasing power, reducing distress migration, creating durable assets while ensuring livelihood opportunities for the needy and poor in rural India.

The act is aimed at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. These works include water conservation, drought proofing, irrigation, land development, rejuvenation of traditional water bodies, flood control and drainage work, rural connectivity and work on the land of SC/ST/BPL/IAY beneficiaries/land reform beneficiaries/ individual small and marginal farmers.


1. Employment provided to 4.1 crore households in 2010-11 up to Dec.10.

2. Women constitute 47%  while Scheduled Castes account for 28 %, and Scheduled Tribes 24% of the workers under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA in 2010-11.

3. Average Wages per day under MGNREGA has gone up from Rs. 65 in 2006-07 to Rs. 100 in 2010-11.

4. Wage rates enhanced by 17-30% by linkage with Consumer Price Index for Agricultural labour calculated on the basis of Rs. 100 or the actual wage rate, whichever is higher as on April 1,2009.

5. Around 10 crore accounts of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA beneficiaries opened in post offices/banks contributing to financial inclusion.

6. Allocation of funds for 2010-11 raised to Rs. 40,100 crores.

7. Expenditure on wages Rs. 74677 crores.

8. Water Conservation, irrigation and land development account for over  75 % of work taken up in 2010-11

9. Over 68 lakh works taken up under MGNREGA  so far.

10. Social Audits conducted in 71% Panchayats.

FEATURES (FY 2006-07)  200 Districts (FY 2007-08)           330 Districts (FY 2008-09)          615 Districts (FY 2009-10)           619 Districts 

(FY 2010-11)           625 Districts 

Till Dec.,2010

Employment provided to households: 2.10Crore 3.39Crore 4.51Crore 5.26 Crore 4.10 crore
Total: [in Rs.Lakhs]: 90.5 143.59 216.32 283.59 145
SCs : [in Percent]: 25% 27% 29% [30% 24 %
STs: 36% 29% 25% 21% 28%
Women: 40% 43% 48% 48% 47%
Budget Outlay: 

(In Rs Crore)

11300 12000 30000 39,100 40,100
Expenditure on wages (in Percent) 66% 68% 67% 70% 71%
Average Wage per day (In Rs.) Rs. 65 Rs.75 Rs.84 Rs.90 Rs.100
Total works taken up 

(In Lakhs):

8.35 17.88 27.75 46.17 68.60


1.Enhancement of  MGNREGA wage rates by 17-30 % by linking it with Consumer price index for agricultural labour calculated on the basis of Rs. 100 or the actual wage rate, whichever is higher as on April 1st, 2009. The new wage rates which come in to effect from January 1,2011 are higher than the prevailing wage rates under MGNREGA at present in many states.

2.Wage disbursement to Mahatma Gandhi NREGA workers through Banks/Post Office accounts has been made mandatory. Around 9.38 bank/post office accounts have been opened so far.

3. On line Monitoring : Job cards, muster rolls, wage payments, number of days of employment provided and works under execution have been put up on the website for monitoring and easy public access for information.

4. District Level Ombudsman : Set up to receive complaints from Mahatma Gandhi NREGA workers and others on any matters, consider such complaints and facilitate their disposal in accordance with law.

5.Social Audits made mandatory: Gram Panchayats have been asked to organize Social Audits once in every six months. Reports on Social Audits uploaded on the MGNREGA website. 73 % Gram Panchayats have reported to have undertaken Social Audits in 2010-11 so far.

6.National Level Monitors (NLMs)Visit: 37 National level Monitor were deputed in 37 districts in 15 states for special monitoring of the program.

7.Eminent Citizen Monitors : 61 Eminent Citizens have been have been identified so far as per the Guidelines of the Scheme for independent  monitoring. It is proposed to set up a group of 100 Eminent Citizen Monitors to Report on the progress of the scheme.

8.Vigilance and Monitoring committees (V&MCs) at State and District level : Re constituted for effective monitoring of the implementation of the program.

9.National Helpline for receipt of complaints : Toll free National Helpline 1800110707 set up for the protection of workers entitlements and rights under the Act. This is being CT enabled and linked with the State and District Level Helplines.

10.State Helplines: Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Goa, Andaman and Nicobar Islands etc. have set up state level helplines.

11.Partnership with Unique Identification Development Authority of India (UIDA): Mahatma Gandhi NREGA is  collaborating with UIDA. By creating a unique identity of the individual the process would eliminate duplicate job cards, ghost beneficiaries while facilitating easy bank account opening, tracking the mobility of beneficiaries  and ensuring a better monitoring of the system.

12.Construction of Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra/ Gram Panchayat Bhawans at the Gram Panchayat or block level: Included as a permissible activity under the act. Use of administrative head of 6% under the Scheme has been permitted for provision of latest ICT facilities in Gram Panchayats (BNRGSK) within the permissible norms of the State Govt. subject to due procedures.

13.Enlarging the scope of works permitted : Works related to provision of irrigation facility, horticulture plantation and land development facilities on the private land owned by SCs and STs or below poverty line families (BPL)has been permitted under the act. Gram Panchayats while approving work plans have been asked to ensure that works on lands of SC / ST and BPL receive first priority.

14.Work under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA in Naxal affected states : Union Government has issued instructions to all naxal affected States (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh) to intensify awareness generation campaign among rural households, issuance of job cards, implementing sufficient number of works and timely payment of wages.

15.Convergence : Guidelines have been developed for convergence of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGS with different Schemes and specific programs. 150 convergence pilot projects have been instituted in 23 states under the monitoring of National Institute of Rural Development.

16.Business Correspondent Model : Adopted in Rajasthan with the help of Central Bank of India  to ensure  timely payment of wages to the  workers.

17.Strengthening Monitoring Mechanisms: A Professional Institutional Network (PIN) has been constituted , including IITs, IIMs, ASCI, IIPA, IIFM ,agriculture universities and other professional institutions, for lending support to Mahatma Gandhi NREGA to conduct impact assessment and concurrent monitoring and appraisal.

18.Management and Administrative support for social audit, grievance redressal and ICT infrastructure has been strengthened.

Over the years the experience has shown that the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable groups have sought employment under the program. Focus now is on transparency and accountability with social audits, Biometric enabled-ICT based MGNREGA process for safeguarding the worker’s rights, enhanced productivity and sustainable development. Strengthening Of Gram Panchayats and empowering the workers are among the key areas where the emphasis would be in the years to come making it an effective instrument of inclusive growth and development.


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