Cabinet approves direct release of wages into bank accounts of MGNREGA workers

The Union Cabinet has approved direct benefit transfer of wages to the bank accounts of MGNREGA workers. This will prevent delay in payments to workers under the rural employment guarantee scheme. Delayed payments has been one of the biggest criticisms of the scheme that has been allocated Rs 34,000 crore in the current fiscal year, which can be raised Rs 5,000 crore more if revenues pick up. Direct benefit transfer ensures that scheme funds do not get indefinitely parked with the state finance departments. In 2014-15, only 28 per cent of the payments could be made on time to the workers under the scheme.

MGNREGA - Key Points to Note

The Scheme aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’ by ensuring livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

MNREGA was set up on Feb 2, 2006 from district Anantapur in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Starting from 200 on 2006, the NREGA covered all the districts of India from 1 April 2008.

The NDA government has decided to provide 150 days for rain hit areas.

In its World Development Report 2014, the World Bank termed the scheme a “stellar example of rural development”.

MGNREGA is to be implemented mainly by gram panchayats (GPs). The involvement of contractors is banned.

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