The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is a “People’s Act” in several senses. The Act was prepared through a wide range of consultation with people’s organizations. Second, the Act addresses itself chiefly to working people and their fundamental right to life with dignity. Third, the Act empowers ordinary people to play an active role in the implementation of employment guarantee schemes through Gram Sabhas, social audits, participatory planning and other means. More than any other law, MGNREGA is an Act of the people, by the people and for the people.
MGNREGA calls for the formulation of a Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (REGS) by each State Governments within six months of the date of commencement of the Act. The purpose of the Scheme is to give effect to the legal guarantee of work, by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed employment to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work subject to the conditions of this Act. Each Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is required to have the minimum features specified in Schedule I and Schedule II of the Act.