Stage set for REGS implementation

PREPARATIONS ARE underway to implement Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (REGS) in five districts of Indore division from February 2. The beneficiaries include Dhar, Barwani, Khandwa, Khargone and Jhabua districts.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 13:28 IST

PREPARATIONS ARE underway to implement Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (REGS) in five districts of Indore division from February 2. The beneficiaries include Dhar, Barwani, Khandwa, Khargone and Jhabua districts. A Central Government scheme, it is meant for districts that have been selected under National Food for Work Programme or Sampoorn Gramin Rozgar Yojana.

Deputy Divisional Commissioner R K Khare informed that the Act makes it binding on the State Government to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment every financial year to poor households in rural areas, whose adult members volunteer to undertake unskilled manual work.

Keeping in view the date for enforcement, prospective plan reflecting the 100-day work schedule has been prepared for every village Panchayat. The latter have been asked to implement the plan by March 31, 2006.

Besides, the Gram Panchayats of the five districts have been directed to hold Gram Sabha on February 2 and hold registration of labourers on the same day. The registered workers will be issued photo job cards that will contain payment and employment schedule among other details.

Village Panchayats will display details of development projects publicly informing the nature of work, names and number of registered workforce employed. Fifty per cent of the total funds for development projects will be disbursed through village Panchayat.

In addition, a control room has been set up at Janpad Panchayat, District Panchayat and Commissionerate (Indore) to monitor and ensure that the registered workers receive employment within prescribed time limit. The Act also makes it mandatory to provide employment within 15 days of registration, failing which the State Government will have to provide 15 per cent of daily wage (Rs 60 a day) as unemployment allowance to the labourer.

Besides, the government will provide 10 per cent extra wages to a workers if he is required to travel more than five kilometres to work place. Aside from District Collectors who have been made District Programme Coordinators, District and Janpad Panchayat Chief Executive Officers will be responsible if labourers fail to get employment within scheduled time.

More importantly, the agencies bound to commence new work if 50 labourers become available with no work at hand. “Employment guarantee scheme is a major breakthrough to enhance the livelihood security of rural families living below poverty line. It will prevent labour migration to cities, help in alleviation of poverty and usher in a new era of village development,” Khare told Hindustan Times.

First Published: Jan 14, 2006 13:28 IST