Should NREGA be turned into a scheme instead of being a law?

GN BUREAU | July 4, 2014




Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje has asked the Centre why the UPA’s flagship Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee Act (MGNREGA, or commonly referred to as NREGA) cannot be delivered as a scheme.

In a letter to union minister for rural development Nitin Gadkari, sent on June 6, Raje said, “It is a moot issue why rural employment should be guaranteed by an Act, and why such employment cannot be delivered, or even guaranteed, as a scheme.”  (Read the report in Indian Express here).

Raje also said, “It is difficult to see the advantages of an Act, except that it can lead to increased litigation by all manner of organisations. Whether it is to be NREGA or NREGS is a matter of debate and decision.”

The report added that the Rajasthan CM’s office denied any bid to question the Act. The CMO reportedly said Raje plans to seek more funds for MNREGA, as also ask for pending dues to be cleared.

The BJP had supported the Act in parliament during voting in 2005 and subsequently enacted as law. The law guarantees minimum employment for 100 days as a right, and not just as a scheme or largesse.

The previous Congress-led UPA government hailed the Act as “the largest and most ambitious social security and public works programme in the world”, though a comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India survey found serious lapses in its implementation.

So, do you think Vasundhara Raje is right in asking the Centre why MGNREA cannot be delivered as a scheme instead of a law?

 

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