Context: Recently a government panel, appointed to examine the contours of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), has recommended a complete overhaul of the scheme to link employment generation efforts with asset creation, largely concentrated in 2,500 water-deficient and 1,000 poverty-ridden blocks of the total 7,245 blocks.
About the Panel
- The head of the panel was former rural development secretary Amarjeet Sinha.
- The panel’s mandate was
- to study the factors behind the demand for MGNREGA work,
- inter-state variations and the composition of work.
- to recommend restructuring the demand-based programme MGNREGA.
Recommendations of the Panel
- Link the rural employment scheme with asset creation in the poorest blocks of India.
- 70% of the MGNREGA funds should be channelised in about 49% of the blocks, including 2,500 water-deficient blocks and 1,000 poverty-ridden blocks.
- The remaining 30% of the MGNREGA funds, as per the committee’s recommendation, be earmarked for the rest of the state.
- The “one size fits all” approach of the programme to be changed to a more targeted approach.
- Employment generation under the scheme should be linked to creating assets to replenish water bodies in these 3,500 blocks.