The Centre has set in motion the process to appoint Lok Karmis and Lok Sevaks for the proper implementation of Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment guarantee Act (MGREGA).
In view of disparities in rural social structures and inequalities in functional capabilities of the poor and marginalised sections lacking literacy skill to record their rights in the written form for jobs, the Ministry for Rural Development has taken the decision of appointing a local person to assist and support them in the realisation of their entitlements under the Act.
In its draft proposal, the ministry noted that the absence of written applications for employment led to a spate of administrative lapses like non-issuance of date receipts, non-payment of unemployment allowances or compensation for delay in wages or in record keeping and, not the least important, it amounted to serve as a wedge between workers’ rights and the Gram Panchayat.
At the Gram Panchayat level, such a person will be designated as Lok Karmi while a Lok Sevak will be appointed with a territorial jurisdiction not exceeding four blocks.
There will be a Lok Karmi in each gram panchayat and necessarily will have to be either a Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Minority and preferably a woman. Another important observation of the note is that the “Lok Karmi should not be a person having affiliation with communal or political organisation.” Nor should he have any criminal antecedent.
While a 12th Standard pass will be preferable but in the absence of availability a candidate having passed 8th standard could be considered. The wage will not be less than the agriculture minimum wage for skilled labour in the Sate.
The appointment of a Lok Sevak will come with the strict penalty clause for negligence or malafide action. The criteria set for the appointment of a Lok Sevak demands minimum two years of work in rural development activities, and be on in the active list of government approved NGOs and agencies, and have an annual turnover of over Rs. 20 lakh per annum.
The ministry has proposed a consolidated fee on a monthly or quarterly basis to be calculated on the basis of wage paid to Lok Karmi and about 10 to 15 percent of this as agency charges. It has made it mandatory that the agency give an undertaking to disburse fully the wage component of the fee.
Lok Karmi should not have affiliation with political organisation
Appointment of Lok Sevak demands minimum two years of work in rural development activities