The failure of monsoon and frequent recurrence of drought has been a matter of serious concern for the Government in the state. The condition of drought brings the scarcity of food, employment and water in the rural areas of the state. Therefore, to mitigate the risk and impact of Drought on the rural population, the Government of Maharashtra had taken permanent and long-term measures by providing work to unskilled labourers and conservation of natural resources i.e., forest, Soil and Water in the rural areas during the period of severe droughts occurred in the state.
Given the above condition, the legislative assembly of the state enacted Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act,1977 and made it applicable to the whole of the state. Under this act, The Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme was started and two different schemes were implemented in the entire state.
- Employment Guarantee Scheme by guaranteeing employment to all adults who reside in rural areas of the state and are willing to do unskilled manual work.
- Individual benefit scheme as per clause 12 (e) of Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme Act,1977.
During the year 2005, the Parliament of India enacted the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Presently known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and made it applicable to the whole of India.
Clause 28.0 of this Act “provided that where a State enactment exists or is enacted to provide employment guarantee for unskilled manual work to rural households consistent with the provisions of this Act under which the entitlement of the households is not less than and the conditions of employment are not inferior to what is guaranteed under this Act, the State Government shall have the option of implementing its enactment:
Accordingly, the Government of Maharashtra has accepted the option of keeping the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act,1977 in the year 2006.
However, in 2014, the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly made the necessary amendments to the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act,1977 Act to provide funds to the State following the MGNREGA Act 2005, thus the procedure for implementing the scheme has changed and aforesaid amended Act was made effective in the state.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005)
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) was notified on September 7, 2005. The Scheme formulated to implement the act is called as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme-Maharashtra in the state.
The mandate of the MGNREGA 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.
The core objectives of the MGNREGS are:
- Providing not less than one hundred days of unskilled manual work as a guaranteed employment in a financial year to every household in rural areas as per demand, resulting in creation of productive assets of prescribed quality and durability.
- Strengthening the livelihood resource base of the poor.
- Proactively ensuring social inclusion.
- Strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions
The goals of the MGNREGS are:
- Social protection for the most vulnerable people living in rural India by guaranteeing wage employment opportunities.
- Enhance livelihood security of the rural poor through generation of wage employment opportunities in works leading to creation of durable assets.
- Rejuvenate natural resource base of rural areas.
- Create a durable and productive rural asset base.
The MGNREGA Act, 2005 can be read here.
Employment Guarantee Scheme In Maharashtra
At present Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act, 1977 (as amended upto August 6, 2014) is in force in the state and the following two schemes are running under the Act.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme -Maharashtra (MGNREGS) Under this scheme, the central government guarantees 100 days of employment per household and funds 100 days per household towards wage expenditure. The Maharashtra Government bears the financial burden of the wage expenditure of every worker over and above 100 days per household.
- As per Section (12) (e) of the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act, 1977 as amended, Individual Benefit Schemes are implemented on reimbursement basis as subsidy schemes..
Apart from this, the funds of the state government are used for the following purposes
- For completion of skilled works in progress under State Employment Guarantee Scheme.
- For compensation of land acquired under State Employment Guarantee Scheme.
The Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Act, 1977 (as amended upto August 6, 2014) can be read here.