“Examine the factors that hinder the success of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and suggest suitable measures to rectify them.” (250 Words)

Factors that hinder efficiency of MNREGA

  • Both the number and quality of human resource deployed so far are completely inadequate.
  • Massive corruption as revealed by recent events in Jharkhand.
  • Lack of awareness of their rights among MNREGA workers.
  • Absence of any effective grievance redressal system for MNREGA.
  • In absence of Gram Panchayats (the chief “implementing agency” under the Act), the implementation of NREGA in Jharkhand is effectively under the control of private contractors, or quasi-contractors such as the so-called “labhuk samitis” (beneficiary committees). But private contractors work for profit, and the only way to make profit from NREGA is to cheat.
  • Even basic safeguards, such as the maintenance of job cards and the transparency of muster rolls, are not monitored properly.

Reforms needed to make MNREGA a success

  1. Need for a large number of full-time professionals, many of whom could be recruited from the open market, while strictly enforcing their accountability to PRIs.
  2. Much greater use of information technology would be critical for transparency, accountability and speed at all stages, from sanction of works, release of funds and wage payments to social audit.
  3. Outmoded Schedules of Rates need to be revised, to bring them in line with a new programme that bans machines and contractors.
  4. A new bottom-up, people-centred approach to planning of works and social audit is spoken of but the social mobilisers and technical personnel required to make this a reality have not been supplied.
  5. The government should also mandate a role for civil society organisations (CSOs) to work as support agencies for PRIs in NREGA planning, implementation and social audit. This would help institutionalise the CSO-PRI partnership, putting pressure on both CSOs and PRIs to learn to work together.
  6. Strong rules for NREGA, putting in place grievance redressal procedures, enforcing the transparency safeguards
  7. Creation of awareness among MNREGA labourers.

            Reformed on these lines, the MNREGA has the potential to not only transform livelihoods but also herald a revolution in rural governance.

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