Battling opposition charge of pursuing “anti-poor” policies, the NDA government has decided to increase the number of workdays under MGNEGRA from 100 days to 150 days in drought-hit areas.
- A policy decision has been taken that if a family requires 150 days of work under MNREGA in a drought affected region, it should be provided. Some of the states are affected by drought.
- MNREGA was launched in 2009, by Congress government.
- The scheme, in which half of the beneficiaries are women roughly reaches every fifth household in the rural areas. The scheme is in operation in 632 districts in the country.
- The Centre will bear the cost of providing work to rural households for 50 more days and it will be applicable to only the households which complete 100 days of work.
- The decision to increase the wage days in drought-hit areas has been taken as Government is expecting an increase in demand for wage-based employment due to drought affecting regular agricultural activities in some regions.
- The additional 50 days of employment in this category were applicable to individuals who got lease under Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 and was expected to benefit lakhs of people in states with a significant tribal population like Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Around 14 lakh individual and community titles have been distributed under FRA 2006.
- Besides ensuring durable quality assets, the expansion of MGNREGA works is likely to improve the socio-economic condition of marginalised section of the society like SC/ST, Small and Marginal farmers, IAY beneficiaries, Forest Right Act beneficiaries etc as most of the new works are now permitted on the land or homestead of specified individual beneficiaries.