Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA) guarantees a livelihood security of minimum 100 days throughout the country to citizens of rural areas. Envisaged in 2005 this Act has been pivotal in combating extreme poverty in India and at the same time helping rural areas to move towards path of sustainable development. Works under this scheme of Ministry of Rural Development are managed by the local Panchayats/Gram Panchayats with assistance from area Block Development Officer (BDO) from the Rural Development Department of respective states.
Clarification on Aadhar Card being mandatory for MGNREGA applicants
Government of India has been working day and night to bring in transparency in all mega welfare schemes like MGNREGA, NRHM, RMSA etc it undertakes and Aadhar Card has been at forefront in implementation of transparency in such services as in case of LPG subsidy, Scholarships, Voter Card’s etc. Considering the vast potential of Aadhar cards in preventing misuse of funds or forgery the Union Government recently decided to start linking MGNREGA worker accounts with Aadhar and hence ensure money is being transferred only to verified bank accounts under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) model in coming years. This would also help in timely disbursement of wages as government officers would not have to strictly monitor each and every transaction, considering the fact they have complete information of each and every beneficiary including his/her bio metric scans. This methodology if implemented effectively can drastically reduce the menace of fake & fraud beneficiaries which will help save crores of tax payer’s money.
Is Aadhar mandatory for MGNREGA?
MGNREGA has been using online software for collection of worker/ works data throughout the country from recent years. It also maintains complete records of beneficiaries in the form of MGNREGA Information System (MIS). The system requires beneficiaries to register online and mention all their particulars unambiguously after which there cases are considered by officials and works are allotted to them. A recent change in the online system of NREGASoft (Name of the software used for MGNREGA) with an option of Aadhar Seeding asked registrants to key in their Aadhar ID at the time of registration. This was thought as a step to make Aadhar mandatory for work allotment under MGNREGA. A lot of confusion on whether possessing Aadhar was mandatory for MGNREGA workers led the Government issue a clarification clearly stating that the requirement of Aadhar for MGNREGA is completely optional as of now in complete compliance with Honorable Supreme Court Directive and providing Aadhar ID can only help in maintaining proper database and timely release of wages. The authenticated copy of the clarification can be accessed HERE. (Screen Shot Below)
The clarification issued by the Joint Secretary of the MGNREGA section in the Rural Dev Ministry has categorically states that NO PERSON shall be denied of benefits like wages, work etc for not having Aadhar Card and the process of Seeding Aadhar with MGNREGA accounts is a routine process to purify official records and maintain transparency in system. Accordingly rectification in NREGASoft has also been done and registrations can now be done successfully by even by those who are yet to get Aadhar or have enrolled but have not been issued Aadhar ID as of now.
Also as the number of MGNREGA workers is increasing manifold, the Rural Development Ministry has come out with an effective plan to implement Aadhar Seeding in a phased manner starting with those areas where Aadhar Enrollment figures are impressive. It is important to mention that plan nowhere mentions to not allow workers yet to obtain Aadhar number to continue receiving benefits from the scheme. This is in total compliance of Honorable Supreme Court directive regarding Aadhar Card not being mandatory to benefit from any Government Scheme till the Aadhar project covers an appreciable and major chunk of areas in country. However considering the importance of Aadhar and potential of this ambitious project it is important to mention that people are voluntarily coming for Aadhar enrollment throughout the country and figures are changing drastically every passing day.
If you are yet to apply for Aadhar and want to know How to Apply for Aadhar card? Check out a detailed article on this HERE.
Do let us in the comments below if you have any queries or concerns regarding the Seeding of Aadhar with MGNREGA scheme.