Why NREGA 2005 is referred to as Right to Work ?
NREGA is now known as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. This act aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
Some of the original provisions of the NREGA were as outlined below:
(i) Every household in the rural areas of India shall have a right to at least 100 days of guaranteed employment every year for at least one adult member, for doing casual manual labour at the rate of Rupees 60 per day;
(ii) Only productive works shall be taken up under the Programme. The State Council shall prepare a list of permissible works as well as a list of “preferred works”. The identification of preferred works shall be based on the economic, social and environmental benefits of different types of works, their contribution to social equity, and their ability to create permanent assets;
(iii) The Programme may also provide, as far as possible, for the training and up-gradation of the skills of unskilled labourers;
(iv) Wages may be paid in cash or in kind or both, taking into account the guidelines and recommendations of the State Council on this matter as far as possible;
(v) Employment shall be provided within a radius of 5 kilometres of the village where the applicant resides at the time of applying. In cases where employment is provided outside such radius, it must be provided within the Block, and transport allowances and daily living allowances shall be paid in accordance with Programme Rules;
(vi) In cases where at least twenty women are employed on a worksite, a provision shall be made for one of them to be deputed to look after any children under the age of six who may be brought to the worksite, if the need arises. The person deputed for child-minding shall be paid the statutory minimum wage;
(vii) A proportion of the wages, not exceeding 5%, may be deducted as a contribution to welfare schemes organized for the benefit of labourers employed under the Programme, such as health insurance, accident insurance, survivor benefits, maternity benefits and social security schemes.
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