Divided MGNREGA job scheme wages into separate categories for SCs, STs, others

Divided MGNREGA job scheme wages into separate categories for SCs, STs, others

Recently, the central government has asked the states to divide the wages given under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act- MGNREGA scheme from this financial year by dividing them into different categories for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other castes.

It may be noted that at present, there is only one system for payment of wages under MGNREGA scheme, that is, there is no category wise distribution process for wage payment.

Rationale behind this decision

  • The government says this new payment process will help assess and highlight the benefits accruing to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, from the budgeted outlay.
  • The purpose of this decision is, to a large extent, to throw light on the work being done by the Central Government for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities.

Concerns Against This Decision

  • This may further complicate the payment system.
  • This may reduce the funding of the scheme.
  • This can lead to delay in payment of wages.
  • With this the MGNREGA program can also be limited to the districts with high population of SC/ST.


  • The ‘National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’ i.e., NREGA program was implemented by the Government of India in the year This scheme was known as ‘Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act’, MGNREGA in the year 2010.
  • MNREGA is the world’s biggest social welfare program guaranteeing employment at the legal level. It introduces rural India to the ‘Dignity of Labour’.
  • Under the MGNREGA program, for adult members of every Indian household willing to do unskilled labour, 100 days of employment, and transport allowance in case of distance of more than 5 km along with daily unemployment allowance is also included.
  • But there is a provision of 150 days of guaranteed employment under MGNREGA in drought-prone areas and tribal areas.
  • It is a nationwide programme. This program covers all the districts of the country except a few districts which fall under the category of fully cities. The right to determine the wage received under MNREGA is vested with the Central and State Governments.
  • From January 2009, the central government revises the MGNREGA wage rate notified for all states every year.

Source: PIB

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