July 31, 2023

Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill

Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill

Why in the news?

  • Recently, Rajasthan govt. tables Bill to guarantee minimum income.

Key Points

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  • The Minimum Guaranteed Income Bill aims to support individuals and families in the state with "additional income" through three comprehensive areas: the right to minimum guaranteed income, the right to guaranteed employment, and the right to guaranteed social security pension.
  • The bill is introduced by the government at the end of the financial year, considering the upcoming elections, to provide relief to citizens from inflation by implementing various schemes and measures. 
  • The Mahatma Gandhi Minimum Guaranteed Income Scheme will provide eligible individuals in urban areas with employment, ensuring they receive a minimum guaranteed income through this initiative.
  • The government will provide employment through the Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme (IGUEGS) and the Chief Minister's Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (CMREGS), or provide pensions for the elderly, disabled, widowed, or single women.
  • Regarding the right to guaranteed employment, every adult residing in rural areas will have the right to obtain guaranteed employment for doing permissible work of at least additional 25 days in a financial year, after completing the specified maximum days of work within a given period.
  • The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and minimum wage payment will not exceed one week or in any case not later than a fortnight.
  • For urban areas, every adult person of the state shall have a right to get guaranteed employment for doing permissible work of at least 125 days in a financial year and to receive minimum wages weekly or in any case not later than a fortnight.
  • In case the Programme Officer fails to provide employment within 15 days from the receipt of the application in the prescribed manner, the applicant shall be entitled to receive unemployment allowance from the state government on a weekly basis and in any case not later than a fortnight.
  • The Right to Guaranteed Social Security Pension entitles every person falling in the category of old age/specially abled/widow/single woman, with prescribed eligibility, to a pension. An important component of the pension would be an automatic increase of 15% annually on the base rate in two instalments i.e., 5 per cent in July and 10 per cent in January of each financial year, starting from financial year 2024-2025.
  • The government estimates an additional expense of Rs. 2,500 crore per year due to this scheme, which may increase over time.
  • Social activist Nikhil Dey from the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), who has collaborated with the state government on the bill, has praised it as a commendable step.
  • The perspective of the bill that guarantees minimum employment and pension distinguishes it from cash transfer schemes being implemented in other states.
  • Social security is the right of the marginalized sections of society, and for this, social security schemes have been implemented through rights-based laws like MGNREGA, RTE, and the National Food Security Act by the central government.