Title : THE NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE ACT, 2005
Year : 2005
Whoever contravenes the provisions of this Act shall on conviction be liable to a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.
(1) The Central Government may, by notification, direct that the powers exercisable by it (excluding the power to make rules) may, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions and limitations, be exercisable also by the State Government or such officer subordinate to the Central Government or the State Government as it may specify in such notification.
(2) The State Government may, by notification, direct that the powers exercisable by it (excluding the power to make rules and Schemes) may, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions and limitations, be exercisable also by such officer subordinate to it as it may specify in such notification.
(1) The Central Government may give such directions as it may consider necessary to the State Government for the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (1), the Central Government may, on receipt of any complaint regarding the issue or improper utilisation of funds granted under this Act in respect of any Scheme if prima facie satisfied that there is a case, cause an investigation into the complaint made by any agency designated by it and if necessary, order stoppage of release of funds to the Scheme and institute appropriate remedial measures for its proper implementation within a reasonable period of time.
The provisions of this Act or the Schemes made there under shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of such law:
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 own enactment:
Provided further that in such cases the financial assistance shall be paid to the concerned State Government in such manner as shall be determined by the Central Government, which shall not exceed what the State would have been entitled to receive under this Act had a Scheme made under this Act had to be implemented.
(1) If the Central Government is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, it may, by notification, amend Schedule I or Schedule II and thereupon Schedule I or Schedule II, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have been amended accordingly.
(2) A copy of every notification made under sub-section (1) shall be laid before each House of Parliament as soon as may be after it is made.
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the District Programme Coordinator, Programme Officer or any other person who is, or who is deemed to be, a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or Schemes made there under.
(1) The Central Government may, by notification, and subject to the condition of previous publication, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without the prejudice of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
(a) The number of representatives of the State Governments under clause (e) of sub-section (3) of section 10;
(b) The terms and conditions subject to which the Chairman and other members of the Central Council may be appointed, and the time, place and procedure of the meetings (including the quorum at such meetings) of the Central Council, under sub-section (4) of section 10;
(c) The manner in which and the conditions and limitations subject to which the National Fund shall be utilised under sub-section (3) of section 20;
(d) The rules relating to funding pattern to meet the cost of certain items under sub-section (1) of section 22;
(e) Any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed or in respect of which provision is to be made by the Central Government by rules.
(1) The State Government may, by notification, and subject to the condition of previous publication, and consistent with this Act and the rules made by the Central Government, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the fore going power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:-
(a) The terms and conditions upon which eligibility for unemployment allowance may be determined under sub-section (2) of section 7;
(b) The procedure for payment of unemployment allowance under sub-section (6) of section 7;
(c) The terms and conditions subject to which the Chairperson and members of the State Council may be appointed, and the time, place and procedure of the meetings (including the quorum at such meetings) of their appointment to the State Council, under sub-section (2) of section 12;
(d) The grievance redressal mechanism at the Block level and the District level and the procedure to be followed in such matter under section 19;
(e) The manner in which and the conditions and limitations subject to which the State Fund shall be utilised under sub-section (2) of section 21;
(f) The authority who may administer and the manner in which he may hold the State Fund under sub-section (3) of section 21;
(g) The manner of maintaining books of account of employment of labourers and the expenditure under sub-section (2) of section 23;
(h) The arrangements required for proper execution of Schemes under sub-section (3) of section 23;
(i) The form and manner in which the accounts of the Scheme shall be maintained under sub-section (2) of section 24;
(j) Any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed or in respect of which provision is to be made by the State Government by rules.
(1) Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both the Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall have thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.
(2) Every rule or Scheme made by the State Government under this Act shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of the State Legislature where there are two Houses, and where there is one House of the State Legislature, before that House.
(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette, make such provisions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as appear to it to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty:
Provided that no order shall be made under this section after the expiry of three years from the commencement of this Act.
(2) Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament.
SCHEDULE I [See section 4(3)]
MINIMUM FEATURES OF A RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME
1. The focus of the Scheme shall be on the following works in their order of priority:-
(i) Water conservation and water harvesting;
(ii) Drought proofing (including afforestation and tree plantation)
(iii) Irrigation canals including micro and minor irrigation works;
(iv) Provision of irrigation facility to land owned by households belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes or to land of beneficiaries of land reforms or that of the beneficiaries under the Indira Awas Yojana of the Government of India;
(v) Renovation of traditional water bodies including desilting of tanks;
(vi) Land development;
(vii) Flood control and protection works including drainage in water logged areas;
(viii) Rural connectivity to provide all-weather access; and
(ix) Any other work which may be notified by the Central Government in consultation with the State Government.
2. Creation of durable assets and strengthening the livelihood resource base of the rural poor shall be an important objective of the Scheme.
3. The works taken up under the scheme shall be in rural areas.
4. The State Council shall prepare a list of preferred works for different areas based on their ability to create durable assets.
5. The Scheme shall be subject to appropriate arrangements as may be laid down by the State Government under the rules issued by it for proper maintenance of the public assets created under the Scheme.
6. Under no circumstances shall the labourers be paid less than the wage rate.
7. When wages are directly linked with the quantity of work, the wages shall be paid according to the schedule of rates fixed by the State Government for different types of work every year, in consultation with the State Council.
8. The schedule of rates of wages for unskilled labourers shall be so fixed that a person working for seven hours would normally earn a wage equal to the wage rate.
9. The cost of material component of projects including the wages of the skilled and semi-skilled workers taken up under the Scheme shall not exceed forty per cent. of the total project costs.
10. It shall be open to the Programme Officer and Gram Panchayat to direct any person who applied for employment under the Scheme to do work of any type permissible under it.
11. The Scheme shall not permit engaging any contractor for implementation of the projects under it.
12. As far as practicable, a task funded under the Scheme shall be performed by using manual labour and not machines.
13. Every Scheme shall contain adequate provisions for ensuring transparency and accountability at all level of implementation.
14. Provisions for regular inspection and supervision of works taken up under the Scheme shall be made to ensure proper quality of work as well as to ensure that the total wages paid for the completion of the work is commensurate with the quality and quantity of work done.
15. The District Programme Coordinator, the Programme Officer and the Gram Panchayat implementing the Scheme shall prepare annually a report containing the facts and figures and achievements relating to the implementation of the Scheme within his or its jurisdiction and a copy of the same shall be made available to the public on demand and on payment of such fee as may be specified in the Scheme.
16. All accounts and records relating to the Scheme shall be made available for public scrutiny and any person desirous of obtaining a copy or relevant extracts therefrom may be provided such copies or extracts on demand and after paying such fee as may be specified in the Scheme.
17. A copy of the muster rolls of each Scheme or project under a Scheme shall be made available in the offices of the Gram Panchayat and the Programme Officer for inspection by any person interested after paying such fee as may be specified in the Scheme.
SCHEDULE II (See section 5)
CONDITIONS FOR GUARANTEED RURAL EMPLOYMENT UNDER A SCHEME AND MINIMUM ENTITLEMENTS OF LABOURERS
1. The adult members of every household who-
(i) Reside in any rural areas; and
(ii) Are willing to do unskilled manual work,may submit their names, age and the address of the household to the Gram Panchayat at the village level (hereafter in this Schedule referred to as the Gram Panchayat) in the jurisdiction of which they reside for registration of their household for issuance of a job card.
2. It shall be the duty of the Gram Panchayat to register the household, after making such enquiry as it deems fit and issue a job card containing such details of adult members of the household affixing their photographs, as may be specified by the State Government in the Scheme.
3. The registration made under paragraph 2 shall be for such period as may be laid in the Scheme, but in any case not less than five years, and may be renewed from time to time.
4. Every adult member of a registered household whose name appears in the job card shall be entitled to apply for unskilled manual work under the Scheme.
5. All registered persons belonging to a household shall be entitled to employment in accordance with the Scheme made under the provisions of this Act, for as many days as each applicant may request, subject to a maximum of one hundred days per household in a given financial year.
6. The Programme Officer shall ensure that every applicant referred to in paragraph 5 shall be provided unskilled manual work in accordance with the provisions of the Scheme within fifteen days of receipt of an application or from the date he seeks work in case of advance application, whichever is later:- Provided that priority shall be given to women in such a way that at least one-third of the beneficiaries shall be women who have registered and requested for work under this Act.
7. Applications for work must be for at least fourteen days of continuous work.
8. There shall be no limit on the number of days of employment for which a person may apply, or on the number of days of employment actually provided to him subject to the aggregate entitlement of the household.
9. Applications for work may be submitted in writing either to the Gram Panchayat or to the Programme Officer, as may be specified in the Scheme.
10. The Gram Panchayat and Programme Officer, as the case may be, shall be bound to accept valid applications and to issue a dated receipt to the applicant. Group applications may also be submitted.
11. Applicants who are provided with work shall be so intimated in writing, by means of a letter sent to him at the address given in the job card and by a public notice displayed at the office of the Panchayats at the district, intermediate or village level.
12. As far as possible, employment shall be provided within a radius of five kilometres of the village where the applicant resides at the time of applying.
13. A new work under the Scheme shall be commenced only if-
(a) At least fifty labourers become available for such work; and
(b) The labourers cannot be absorbed in the ongoing works:
Provided that this condition shall not be applicable for new works, as determined by the State Government, in hilly areas and in respect of aforestation.
14. In cases the employment is provided outside such radius, it must be provided within the Block, and the labourers shall be paid ten per cent. of the wage rate as extra wages to meet additional transportation and living expenses.
15. A period of employment shall ordinarily be at least fourteen days continuously with not more than six days in a week.
16. In all cases where unemployment allowance is paid, or due to be paid, the Programme Officer shall inform the District Programme Coordinator in writing the reasons why it was not possible for him to provide employment or cause to provide employment to the applicants.
17. The District Programme Coordinator shall, in his Annual Report to the State Council, explain as to why employment could not be provided in cases where payment of unemployment allowance is involved.
18. Provision shall be made in the Scheme for advance applications, that is, applications which may be submitted in advance of the date from which employment is sought.
19. Provision shall be made in the Scheme for submission of multiple applications by the same person provided that the corresponding periods for which employment is sought do not overlap.
20. The Gram Panchayat shall prepare and maintain or cause to be prepared and maintained such registers, vouchers and other documents in such form and in such manner as may be specified in the Scheme containing particulars of job cards and passbooks issued, name, age and address of the head of the household and the adult members of the household registered with the Gram Panchayat.
21. The Gram Panchayat shall send such list or lists of the names and addresses of households and their adult members registered with it and supply such other information to the concerned Programme Officer at such periods and in such form as may be specified in the Scheme.
22. A list of persons who are provided with the work shall be displayed on the notice board of the Gram Panchayat and at the office of the Programme Officer and at such other places as the Programme Officer may deem necessary and the list shall be open for inspection by the State Government and any person interested.
23. If the Gram Panchayat is satisfied at any time that a person has registered with it by furnishing false information, it may direct the Programme Officer to direct his name to be struck off from the register and direct the applicant to return the job card:
Provided that no such action under this paragraph shall be directed unless the applicant has been given an opportunity of being heard in the presence of two independent persons.
24. If any personal injury is caused to any person employed under the Scheme by accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, he shall be entitled to, free of charge, such medical treatment as is admissible under the Scheme.
25. Where hospitalisation of the injured worker is necessary, the State Government shall arrange for such hospitalisation including accommodation, treatment, medicines and payment of daily allowance not less than half of the wage rate required to be paid had the injured been engaged in the work.
26. If a person employed under a Scheme dies or becomes permanently disabled by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, he shall be paid by the implementing agency an ex gratia payment at the rate of twenty-five thousand rupees or such amount as may be notified by the Central Government, and the amount shall be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased or the disabled, as the case may be.
27. The facilities of safe drinking water, shade for children and periods of rest, first-aid box with adequate material for emergency treatment for minor injuries and other health hazards connected with the work being performed shall be provided at the work site.
28. In case the number of children below the age of six years accompanying the women working at any site are five or more, provisions shall be made to depute one of such women worker to look after such children.
29. The person deputed under paragraph 28 shall be paid wage rate.
30. In case the payment of wages is not made within the period specified under the Scheme, the labourers shall be entitled to receive payment of compensation as per the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 (4 of 1936).
31. The wages under a Scheme may be paid either wholly in cash or in cash and kind provided that at least one-fourth of the wages shall be paid in cash only.
32. The State Government may prescribe that a portion of the wages in cash may be paid to the labourers on a daily basis during the period of employment.
33. If any personal injury is caused by accident to a child accompanying any person who is employed under a Scheme, such person shall be entitled to, free of charge, such medical treatment for the child as may be specified in the Scheme and in case of death or disablement, through an ex gratia payment as may be determined by the State Government.
34. In case of every employment under the Scheme, there shall be no discrimination solely on the ground of gender and the provisions of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 (25 of 1976), shall be complied with.
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