Minimum Income Guarantee Bill in Rajasthan

Context: The Rajasthan government stated intent of enacting a Minimum Income Guarantee Law in the next few days.


Minimum Income Guarantee Bill 

The Rajasthan government while introducing the bill, said “According to the basic spirit of the Constitution, every person has the right to live with dignity.”

Provision of the bill

  • Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme will include a provision for giving pension of at least Rs 1000 per month to elderly, widow, single women, with a guaranteed annual increment of 15 per cent per year. After the law is made, “giving pension will become a legal obligation.”
  • Families who complete 100 days in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) will get 25 days extra employment on a permanent basis. Kathodi, Sahariya and Specially abled people will get employment for 200 days instead of 100 days.

MGNREGA as a Right based approach of entitlement 

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005 made 100 days unskilled work a legal right for a rural resident. Which makes it a rights-based approach for providing social protection. 

  • It is a public employment guarantee scheme designed to provide employment and basic income security to the rural working-age population in India, as well as improve their livelihoods through the development of durable assets. 
  • MGNREGA combines rights-based entitlements with demand-driven employment and citizen-centred planning and monitoring in its design.

Benefits of MGNREGA over Cash transfer 

  • MGNREGA solved the hitherto difficulty of selecting recipients under a cash transfer scheme by making it a universal right for all rural residents who could self-select based on their need for employment.
  • The “targeted” safety net approach of using BPL lists to identify beneficiaries for cash transfer is plagued by the misuse of power by the rural elite and bureaucracy, resulting in the benefits reaching people who were not supposed to receive them.
  • MGNREGA provides wage income as a legal entitlement for labour done and replaces doles with salaries that are quantified.
  • MGNREGA combined development rights with citizenship rights thereby giving citizens the platform to mobilise and assert their rights to plan works, earn a minimum wage and evaluate the outcomes of the programme through social audits.
  • MGNREGA contributed to the resolution of market problems by increasing the negotiating power of MGNREGA workers in the open labour market.
  • The inability to address authentication errors, inaccessible banking systems and lack of proactive facilitation to the most marginalised make cash transfer less effective in comparison to MGNREGA.

Global Cases of social welfare programme


Bolsa Família is the current social welfare program of the Government of Brazil, part of the Fome Zero network of federal assistance programs. Bolsa Família provided financial aid to poor Brazilian families.


Oportunidades was the first national conditional cash transfer program targeting poor and extremely poor households and that integrated three basic social rights –health, education and nutrition.

Way Forward

  • The most logical and effective method by which delivery systems, even within a rights-based framework, can be made to respond to people’s needs is to make sure that the state agencies are accountable. Officials are accountable not just to their administrative superiors, but also to the people.
  • For any mass scale delivery of rights, a strong people-centric accountability mechanism needs to be in place — the mechanism must be codified by law. The failure to deliver should be dealt with in a given time frame and in a decentralised manner. Accountability should be fixed on individual officials.  

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