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Over 5 cr MGNREGS workers’ names deleted in 2022-23

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    28th Jul, 2023

Context

The Union Rural Development Ministry informed the Lok Sabha that 5.18 crore names of workers were deleted from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) list in 2022-23, against 1.49 crore in 2021-22.

What is MGNREGS?

  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was passed in 2005 and aimed at enhancing the livelihood security of households in rural areas.
  • Under it, the MGNREGS is a demand-driven scheme that guarantees 100 days of unskilled work per year for every rural household that wants it, covering all districts in the country except those with a 100% urban population.
  • Type of projects: related to water conservation, land development, construction, agriculture and allied works.
  • Payment: Under the scheme, if work is not provided within 15 days from when it is demanded, the worker has to be given a daily unemployment allowance.
  • Additionally, the wages of unskilled workers also have to be paid within 15 days and in case of a delay, the Centre has to compensate them.

Other important schemes

  • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM)
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G)
  • PM-KISAN Scheme

What does this ‘deletion’ mean?

  • West Bengal (83.36 lakh) saw the highest number of name deletions under MGNREGS in 2022-23, followed by Andhra (78.05 lakh), Odisha (77.78 lakh), Bihar (76.68 lakh) and UP (62.98 lakh).
  • Ineligibility: The deletion of an MGNREGS worker from the rolls basically means that the person is ineligible to work as he is no longer registered under the rural job programme.
  • Linkage issue: In many cases, villagers’ names could have been deleted because his/her job card was not linked to the ABPS. 

Recent changes

  • In January, the government had made online attendance through the National Mobile Monitoring System mandatory for MGNREGS workers.
  • It is also pushing for an Aadhaar-Based Payment System (ABPS) for settling of MGNREGS wages — in a bid to ensure “timely payment of wages” — in spite of widespread protests by workers and activists. 

What is AePS?

  • Aadhaar-based payment systems (AePS) is a type of digital payment system that uses the Aadhaar biometric authentication system for making payments.
  • Aadhaar is a unique identification number.
  • The ABPS leverages the Aadhaar authentication infrastructure to enable transactions and is based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) platform.
  • AePS is a bank-led model developed by NPCI, which allows online transactions at Micro ATM/Kiosk/mobile devices through the authorised Business Correspondent (BC) of any bank using Aadhaar authentication.
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