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A Comprehensive Guide to NREGA – Objectives and Benefits Explained

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Introduction

India’s primary objective has always been to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. In order to accomplish this, different schemes have been launched by the government, one of which is the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, also known as NREGA. This act aims at enhancing livelihood security in rural parts of the country. On the other hand, the central government also launched PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to supplement the financial needs of the small and marginal farmers.

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)

Overview of NREGA

NREGA, officially the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), was initialized in 2005. As per NREGA, wage employment is offered to every rural household where adult members volunteer for unskilled manual work. The Act provides a legal guarantee for 100 days of employment in every financial year to these households.

Objectives of NREGA

The objectives of this Act are plenty. Firstly, it aims to enhance livelihood security of people in rural areas, ensuring at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household. Secondly, it creates durable assets and strengthens the livelihood resource base of the rural poor. Thirdly, the Act looks to protect the environment, empower rural women, reduce rural-urban migration and foster social equity, among others.

Benefits of NREGA

Moreover, this Act has transformed rural India, providing a strong social safety net for the most vulnerable. Here are some of the numerous benefits brought about by the NREGA:

Job Card

This is the key instrument to regulate NREGA employment. Every registered household is given a job card. The card contains the details of the adult member enrolled and his/her photograph.

Generate Employment

This Act has undoubtedly helped rural families in generating additional employment resulting in supplementary income. It compliments the income of farmers by assuring them 100 days of wages in non-farming seasons.

Creating Productive Assets

Unskilled labour is used for building much-needed development infrastructure like roads, canals, etc., in rural areas—thereby creating a lot of productive assets.

Empowerment

With an equal wage rate for both men and women, NREGA has empowered women in rural India.

Moreover, to further assist in enhancing rural people’s income, another beneficial scheme is the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, introduced in 2019 with an outlay of INR 75,000 crores. This scheme provides income support of INR 6,000 per year in three equal installments of INR 2,000 every four months, to all farmer families. These funds are directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

Despite the numerous benefits, it would be wise for potential investors to gauge all the pros and cons of engaging in any financial transactions related to NREGA or any other similar scheme. Every investment comes with a certain amount of risk, and this risk can only be mitigated by doing proper research and understanding all aspects of the scheme.

Summary  

The NREGA is a wonderful initiative by the Indian Government to reduce poverty and unemployment, whilst creating productive assets for the society. Also, schemes like the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi have come to the rescue of financially weak farmers. However, as with any investment, potential investors are advised to thoroughly research these schemes before participating.

Disclaimer: 

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Investors must gauge all the pros and cons and verify all claims and representations made before making any decisions based on this article.

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