NREGA named after Mahatma Gandhi

NREGA named after Mahatma Gandhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the National Convention to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Panchayati Raj in Indian villages and observing 2009-10 as the 'Year of Gram Sabha
Commemorating the 50th year of the launch of Panchayat Raj scheme, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said naming the NREGA after Gandhi is appropriate given the extreme importance with which he had held the ideal of Gram Swaraj.
On the occasion, Singh also exhorted states to strengthen Panchayat Raj institutions.

The announcement comes amid reports that several opposition-ruled state governments are crediting themselves with the success of the NREGA.

Despite the 73rd amendment of the constitution providing that state legislatures must empower Panchayat Raj institutions, the prime minister lamented that functions, funds and functionaries have not been made available to rural councils in several states.

Declaring 2009-10 as the year of Gram Sabha (Village councils), the prime minister said that only effective panchayati Raj institutions can ensure transparent implementation of government schemes.

At a function attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj C P Joshi, the prime minister declared that the scheme would now be called Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. “The Centre must play a major role in ensuring the effective Panchayat institutions,” Singh said.

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