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NREGA Launched on 2nd February 2006 as a momentous initiative towards pro-poor growth. For the first time, rural communities have been given not just a development program but also a regime of rights. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (NREGA) guarantees 100 days of employment in a financial year to any rural household whose adult members are willing to do unskilled manual work.

This work guarantee also serve other objectives: generating productive assets and skills thereby boosting the rural economy, protecting the environment, empowering rural women, reducing rural urban migration and fostering social equity, among others. The Act offers an opportunity to strengthen our democratic processes by entrusting principle role to Panchayats at all levels in its implementation and promises transparency through involvement of community at planning and monitoring stages.

In context of Gujarat in Phase one it was introduced in 6 most backward districts of the State namely Dahod, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Dings, Narmada and Panchmahal. It was implemented in an additional 3 districts in Phase two 2007-2008 namely Navsari, Valsad and Bharuch and the Scheme was extended to the rest 17 rural districts of the State from April 1, 2008 in Phase III.

MGNREGA is the first ever law internationally, that guarantees wage employment at an unprecedented scale. The primary objective of the Act is augmenting wage employment. Its auxiliary objective is strengthening natural resource management through creating rural infrastructure works that address causes of chronic poverty like drought, deforestation and soil erosion and so encourage sustainable development. The process outcomes include strengthening grassroots processes of democracy and infusing transparency and accountability in governance.

The vision of the Government is enabling MGNREGA to become a transformative vehicle for empowering local communities to enhance their livelihood security. Government of Gujarat has taken several steps to ensure the Scheme is implemented effectively like encouraging decentralized participatory management, improving delivery systems and public accountability & transparency.

Eligibility criteria

The mandate of the Act is to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
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