The number of person days generated under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) in January and February this year following the implementation of an app-based attendance system has gone down compared to previous years, data compiled by a civil society group has showed.
As groups of MGNREGA workers continue to protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi against the new attendance and payment systems for over a month, data compiled by NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, which has been at the helm of the protest, showed 34.59 crore person days were generated in January and February this year.
This was significantly lower than January and February 2022, when 53.07 crore person days of work were generated.
In 2021, 56.94 crore person days of work were generated in the same period. In 2020, it was 47.75 crore person days in the two months, while in 2019, 47.86 crore person days were generated in January and February.
The data has been calculated using the MIS Report.
MGNREGA workers protesting the National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS) have said their attendance is not getting marked due to network issues in rural areas and have demanded a rollback. The workers are also protesting against the Aadhaar-Based Payment System (ABPS), which has been made mandatory, as several workers do not have ABPS accounts.
According to the data compiled by the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, on February 1, less than 40 per cent of total MGNREGA workers were eligible for ABPS payments. This is over 10 crore workers across the country. The NMMS app is used to record workers’ attendance at MGNREGA worksites by uploading geotagged photographs twice a day. It was made mandatory across all worksites on January 1, 2023.
On January 30, 2023, the Rural Development Ministry announced all MGNREGA wage payments must be made only through Aadhaar-based payments from February 1.
There are around 27.5 crore registered workers under MGNREGA, 8.4 crore workers worked in 2022-23, and 272.8 crore person days of work was generated.The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, better known as MGNREGA or NREGA, is a flagship scheme aimed at enhancing livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
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