Sonia Gandhi chairs 22nd meeting of National Advisory Council in Delhi
New Delhi, July 6 (ANI): Congress party president Sonia Gandhi chaired the 22nd meeting of the National Advisory Council here on Friday.
The Council recalled the valuable contribution made by past Members, Shri M.S. Swaminathan, Shri Madhav Gadgil and Shri Harsh Mander and welcomed the two new Members Dr. Mihir Shah, Member, Planning Commission and Shri Ashis Mondal, Director, Action for Social Advancement, Bhopal.
In its meeting in March 2012, the NAC had deliberated on social security for unorganized workers to make the Unorganized Workers' Social Security Act, 2008 as inclusive as possible with a comprehensive social security package to be provided through single window backed by a common ICT architecture.
The recommendations of the NAC were communicated to the Government in April, 2012. The administrative Ministries, viz., Ministry of Labour and Employment and Department of Financial Services (Ministry of Finance) made a presentation today to the Council in the context of NAC recommendations.
The presentations highlighted existing provisions for social security under the Unorganized Workers' Social Security Act, 2008 as well as well as other National Social Assistance Programmes, including initiatives taken by the Government such as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).
There is general agreement on broad elements of the integrated social security package, the implementation architecture and phasing of the coverage of the unorganized workers. The Council has advised the Ministries to develop detailed features of the scheme and appraise the Council at its next meeting. he Council observed that with the threat of a failed monsoon and an impending drought, the need for public works may arise in many States.
It said the role of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, is critical in this context.
After an initial period of enthusiasm and significant progress, the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA has been facing several challenges in basic implementation. Despite its seminal achievements, it is also at the receiving end of a series of hostile critiques, not based on rigorous evaluation.
It is crucial to interface with workers. The NAC Working Group on Transparency, Accountability and Governance is mandated to hold consultations in co-ordination with the Ministry of Rural Development and State Governments to measure the impact of the Act so far, monitor implementation of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA 2.0 and suggest effective institutional measures.
These include work on demand; wages and timely payments; expanding the scope of works, ensuring better quality assets; transparency, accountability, and social audit.
The Secretary, NAC, informed that a report for the period June 2010 to May 2011, has been prepared on the work done by the NAC.
The report covers all the recommendations made by the NAC in the past two years, the key recommendations and the current status of the NAC recommendations in the Government. The Council decided to place the Report in NAC website for information of the public.
Members who attended the meeting were Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Dr. Mihir Shah, Dr.Naresh C. Saxena, Prof. Pramod Tandon, Aruna Roy, Deep Joshi, Farah Naqvi, Mirai Chatterjee and Ashis Mondal.
The NAC will meet next on August 24. (ANI)
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