Home >Politics >Policy >Ministry draws up new strategy to publicize MGNREGA

New Delhi: After drawing flak from the government auditor for inadequately publicizing the government’s flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the ministry of rural development has drawn up a comprehensive “information, education and communication (IEC) strategy" for the scheme.

“The strategy aims to create awareness among rural people and other stakeholders with special focus on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers about various aspects of MGNREGA," according to a rural development ministry statement Thursday.

The strategy will aim at ensuring the spread of awareness of those provisions of the Act that empower people to demand jobs and remuneration, the statement said.

These include the provisions that guarantee 100 days of manual work to at least one member of every rural household, employment being provided to job applicants within 15 days of submitting an application, and the right to get an unemployment dole in case work is not provided within 15 days of submitting an application.

The strategy was drawn up after some recent studies and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) performance audit report of MGNREGA had criticized the lack of awareness among the rural community about the scheme.

The CAG report had highlighted the absence of an IEC strategy in most of the states, the government statement said. After unveiling its IEC annual action plan, the ministry of rural development asked states to formulate their own communication programmes.

“Advantages of social media websites will be utilized and importance will be given on the branding of MGNREGA at the grass root level," the statement added.

The rural employment programme was notified on 7 September 2005 and came into effect on 2 February 2006. It is considered the brainchild of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) that sets the social agenda of the government.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government came to power in 2004 for the first time on a pro-poor ticket and the scheme was one of the main programmes targeting the section during the alliance’s first term in office.

The popularity of the scheme was seen as one of the causes for the re-election of the alliance for a second term in 2009. It seeks to create “durable assets" such as roads and irrigation facilities.

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