National Rural Employment Guarantee Act


National Rural Employment Guarantee Act: A Summary

 The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 is a law whereby any adult who is willing to do unskilled manual work at the minimum wage is entitled to being employed on public works within 15 days of applying.  If work is not provided within 15 days, he/she is entitled to an unemployment allowance.  The key features of the Act are given below.


1. Eligibility:       Any person who is above the age of 18 and resides in rural areas is entitled to apply for work.

 2.Entitlement:   Any applicant is entitled to work within 15 days, for as many days as he/she has applied, subject to a                             limit of 100 days per household per year.

 3. Distance:      Work is to be provided within a radius of 5 kilometres of the applicant’s residence if possible, and in                            any case within the Block. If work is provided beyond 5 kilometres, travel allowances have to be paid.

 4. Wages:       Workers are entitled to the statutory minimum wage applicable to agricultural labourers in the state,                          unless and until the Central Government “notifies” a different wage rate.  If the Central Government                           notifies, the wage rate is subject to a minimum of Rs 60/day.

 5. Timely payment:

                      Workers are to be paid weekly, or in any case not later than a fortnight.  Payment of wages is to be made
                    directly to the person concerned in the presence of independent persons of the community on pre-                      announced dates.

 6. Unemployment allowance:

                     If work is not provided within 15 days, applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance: one third of                      the wage rate for the first thirty days, and one half thereafter.

 7. Worksite facilities:

                  Labourers are entitled to various facilities at the worksite such as clean drinking water, shade for periods of                    rest, emergency health care, and child-minding.


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