Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was notified in the remaining 274 districts of India from 1st April, 2008. The Act is now effective in the entire rural areas of the country covering 638 districts and has been renamed “The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)”. The objective of the Act is to provide for the enhancement of livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
The scheme of disbursement of NREGS wages through post offices is operational in 19 postal Circles of the country (except Delhi, J&K and Tamilnadu Circles). Till 31st March, 2012, 5.59 crore MGNREGS accounts have been opened in post offices and wages amounting to Rs. 7,860 crore have been disbursed to MGNREGS beneficiaries during 2011-12 through 98,491 post offices across the country.
Main Features of Payment of Wages through Post Offices
- Payment to be made through Savings Bank accounts of post offices (zero balance workers wage account).
- Disbursement of wages within the prescribed time frame.
- Provision for advance deposit of one month’s wage in the Head Post office of the District Headquarter.
- Co-ordination meetings between Department and State Government authorities.
Data Collection for Rural Consumer Price Index
A mechanism has been worked out to calculate and disseminate the consumer price index with the help of data being collected for 1,181 villages through selected post offices throughout the country. The first set of consumer price indices was brought out in February 2011. India Post is thus playing a crucial role in providing Infrastructural support to enable the concerned government departments to design and implement policies to improve the well being of all the citizens of India.
Mail Network Optimization Project
Department of Post had initiated Mail Network Optimization Project in March 2010 with a view to streamline mail operations and to improve the quality of mail related services offered to the people. It involved optimization of the erstwhile mail network, standardization of processes and development of an effective performance monitoring system. As part of this project, the operational network for Speed Post and other categories of mail has been restructured leading to optimized network and simplified operations.
Speed Post is a premium product offered by the Department with time bound delivery and tracking facility. As part of the project, a major emphasis has been laid on providing complete tracking information for Speed Post items on the website (www.indiapost.gov.in) for the benefit of the people using Speed Post. As a result, in the last two years, the number of items having complete tracking information on the website has gone up from 63 lakhs to 2.78 Crores per month. Speed Post transit has improved by more than a day on an average across the network.
A comprehensive online monitoring system for Speed Post operations has been developed and performance of operational units is monitored in terms of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on a day-to-day basis.