NREGA has been launched in rural areas of the country in a phased manner. In its first phase, the Act was implemented in 200 identified districts with effect from 2.2.2006. Out of the 200 districts selected for the first phase, 150 districts were those districts where National Food For Work Programme was in operation and these districts had a higher SC/ST population. The Act was subsequently launched in 130 districts during 2007-08 and has been extended to all the remaining rural areas in the country from 1.4.2008. Participation of beneficiaries under NREGA belonging to SC and ST category is as under:
Under NREG Act , there is no special provision for reasonable participation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the works. However, sub-para (iv) of para 1 of Schedule-I of the Act, as amended from time to time, provides works on the individual lands of certain categories of beneficiaries. The provision is as under:-
“Provision of irrigation facility, horticulture plantation and land development facilities to land owned by households belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes or below poverty line families or to beneficiaries of land reforms or to the beneficiaries under the Indira Awas Yojana of Government of India or that of the small farmers or marginal farmers as defined in the Agriculture Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008.”
This information was given by the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Pradeep Jain “Aditya” in the Rajya Sabha.