To mitigate drought and drought like situation and scarcity, Union Rural Development Minister Shri Gadkari has ordered that 50% of all works taken up by line agencies at District level should be for water conservation works like check dam construction, de-silting of traditional water bodies, minor irrigation tanks and canals. The decision has been taken in response to widespread criticism that MGNREGA has become a source of corruption and no productive assets are being created through the scheme.
As these works require combination of wage labour and machinery, the percentage on skilled component has been increased up to 49% from current 40%, this will enable the states to do part of work of check dams, minor irrigation tanks with machinery, while doing balance 51% on muster payment to labour. However, if states wish to retain the skilled proportion to 40%, they are free to do so.
The Minister has also directed the Rural Development Ministry that all payments and fund transfer to states should be made on E-payment platform and on a just in time basis so that wage payment are not delayed beyond one week in any case.