Monitoring of mahatma gandhi national rural employment gurantee scheme in bathinda district of punjab
The Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of Government of India was introduced primarily to enhance the livelihood of households by providing 100 days employment to the adult members. It provides alternative source of livelihood which has impact on increasing income and alleviating poverty. However, the success of this Scheme depends upon its effective implementation. An attempt has been made in this study to highlight the violations of stipulated guidelines of the Act as also to assess the awareness level regarding rules and regulations among various stakeholders. The study also seeks to understand the overall impact of the Scheme on the rural workers and whether the MGNREGS scheme has led to gender empowerment. Both primary and secondary data was utilized for the analysis. Primary data was collected by administering schedules and conducting interviews while the secondary data was collected from various published official sources. Multistage sampling was utilized. Bathinda district was purposely selected for the study due to time and money constraint. Further, two blocks Talwandi Sabo and Nathana were selected on the basis of maximum number of employment days generated by the scheme v during the reference year 2012-13. Again, two villages namely Bangi-Ruldoo and Sema were randomly selected from Talwandi Sabo and Nathana blocks respectively. One worksite from each village was also visited to collect the necessary information. Non-MGNREGS workers as a control sample attributed relatively lower wages for MGNREGS works, irregularity of its work, delay in wage payments and non availability of advance payment as the reasons for not joining MGNREGS. This led to relatively smaller participation of workers in the study area. This study revealed that this scheme had an effective mechanism of registration, job card issuance, wage payment through banks, work provision was within the periphery of 5 km from village, equal wage payment to both men and women as also labour displacing machinery and contractors were not involved in the works. However, some violations of MGNREGA guidelines were observed in the study area i.e. only 8 per cent of the respondents were provided the stipulated 100 days of employment, lack of proper worksite facilities, non affixation of photos on job cards, non-issuance of receipt against work application and delay in wage payments. Moreover, it was found that there was a lack of awareness among MGNREGS workers about the facilities\guidelines and other provisions of MGNREGA whereas level of awareness among officials was satisfactory. However, the implementation of this scheme has resulted in women empowerment, generation of more employment opportunities and improvement in the income of workers. It is suggested that intensive monitoring/evaluation of MGNREGS should be done at the State/district level to ensure the proper implementation of the scheme.