The Karnataka Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, 2005

A Bill to provide for guaranteed of employment in rural areas of Karnataka.

Whereas it is expedient to provide guarantee employment in rural areas of Karnataka at least to provide one adult per household who volunteers to do casual manual labour on minimum wages and to provide for incidental matters relating thereto;

Be it enacted by the Karnataka state legislature in the fifty-six year of Republic of India as follows.-

1. Short title, extent and commencement.-
(1) This Act may be called the Karnataka Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, 2005
(2) It shall come into force on such data as the State Government may appoint and different dates may be appointed to bring different provisions of the Act in different areas.

2. Definitions.-
In this Act unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) ‘‘ Adult ‘‘ means a person who has attained the age of eighteen years;
(b) ‘‘Household ’’ means a nuclear family or family of persons normally residing together and sharing meals or holding a common ration card;
(c) ‘‘State Council ’’ means the State Employment Guarantee Council constituted under section 4;
(d) ‘‘program ’’ means the employment guarantee programme prepared and published under section 6;
(e) ‘‘applicant ’’ means a person who has applied for employment under the employment guarantee programme under section 7;
(f) ‘‘project ’’ means any work taken up under the programme for the purpose of providing employment under this Act;
(g) ‘‘rural areas ’’ means and includes B and C class municipalities and such areas as may be notified by Government from time to time;
(h) ‘‘implementing agency’’ includes any Department or offices of the State Government, Zilla Panchayat, Taluk Panchayat, the Gram Panchayat or any other local authority or Government undertakings as may be notified by notification in the official gazette including which is entrusted with the task of implementing any work taken up under the programme;

(i) ‘‘Program Officer ’’ means the officer appointed under section 5 to supervise the implementation of the program in a particular area;
(j) ‘‘Productive works ’’ means any work which in the opinion of the State Council, will directly or indirectly contribute to the increase of production, the creation of durable assets the preservation of environment. Or the improvement of the quality of the life in the rural area.
(k) ‘‘casual manual labour ’’ means a casual job temporary in nature essentially involving physical labour including basic skills that are required for productive works;
(l) ‘‘State fund’’ means State Employment Guarantee Fund established under section 14;
(m) ‘‘Prescribed’’ means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(n) Words and expressions used but not defined in this Act shall have the same meaning as assigned to them in the respective enactments for time being in force;

3. Guarantee of Employment to all house holds in rural areas,-
One adult in every house hold in the rural areas shall be guaranteed to at least 100 days of casual manual labour and within such time every year at the minimum wage as may be prescribed.

4. State Council and its functions,-

(1) The State Government shall as soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, constitute a State Council consisting of the following, namely,-
(2) The State Council shall perform the following functions namely,-
(a) To advise the State Government on all matters concerning the program and its implementation in the State;
(b) To review the monitoring and redressel mechanisms from time to time and recommending improvements if appropriate;

(c) To promote the widest possible dissemination of information about the Act and the program;
(d) To monitor the implementation of the Act and the program and preparing annual reports to be submitted to the State Assembly;
(e) To program such other functions as may be prescribed.
(3) The State Council shall also be competent to undertake and evaluation of the program and for this purpose to collect or cause to be collected statistics pertaining to the rural economy and the implementation of the program in the rural areas in the state.

(5) Implementation of the programs,-
(1) The Zilla Panchayat shall be the Authority to implement the programmes under this Act. The Zilla Panchayat shall appoint the Chief Executive Officer for the implementation of the program in the District. For this purpose all other officers in the district level including the officers of local authorities within the district shall be responsible to the Chief Executive Officer.
(2) The State Council shall notify different areas in a district for implementation of programme and the Zilla Panchayat shall also appoint a PROGRAM Officer, who shall be responsible for the implantation of the program in that area. The program officer shall report to the Taluk Panchayat and the Chief Executive Officer. The program officer shall anticipate the demand for casual work and a labour budget for area and the Chief Executive Officer shall prepare the total demand for casual work and a labour budget for the District so that it may be possible to plan the works to be taken up under the program.
(3) Any of the powers and duties of the PROGRAM Officer, may be delegated to the Gram Panchayat or a specified local authority, through such procedures as may be prescribed in the Rules.

6. Particulars to be provided in a Programme,-
Every programme under section 5,-
(a) Earmark the demand for casual work for a labour under this Act;
(b) Draw the details of employment programmes;
(c) Such term and conditions of executions as may be specified by the State Council.

(2) The details of the programme under sub-section (1) shall be published in the Official
Gazette, and summary there of shall also be published through regional and local news papers and other means.
(3) The essential features of the programme shall include the following:
- only productive works shall be taken up under the programme.
(i) The works taken up under the programme shall be in rural areas.
(ii) The training may also provide, as far as possible, for the training and up gradation of the skills of unskilled labourers.
(iii) In no circumstances shall labourers be paid less than the minimum wage of agricultural labourers applicable with the State.
(iv) When wages are directly linked with quality of work, the wages shall be paid according to the schedule of rates, which shall be fixed by the state Government for different types of work every year, subject to the approval of the State Council. The schedule of rates for unskilled labourers shall be so fixed that a person working diligently for 7 hours would normally earn a wage 21 equal to the statutory minimum wage of agricultural labourers applicable in the state at that time.

(v) It shall be open to the Programme Officer and Gram Panchayat as to direct any person who applies for employment under the programme to do work of any type permissible under the programme.
(vi)Contractor shall not be used for the execution of projects taken up by Gram Panchayats.
(vii) Contractor shall not be used for the execution of projects taken up by programme officer under the programme, except for Specific types of works to be specified in the programme rules and with case wise permission from the concerned monitoring agencies when contractors are used wages shall be paid directly by the Government to the labourers, and in all other respects the Contract Labour Regulation and abolition Act will apply,

(4) The State Council shall prepare a list of permissible work as well as a list of “preferred works” the identification of preferred works shall be based on the economic, social and environmental benefits of different types of works, their contribution to social equity, and their ability to create permanent assets.

7. Eligibility for guaranteed employment under this Act.-
(1)Every adult person - who,
(i) Resides in any rural area and;
(ii) is willing to do casual manual work at the statutory minimum wage;
(iii) May submit his/her name and address to Gram Panchayat and apply for registration.
(2) It shall be the duty every Gram Panchayat and the programme Officer to maintain register containing applications received in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed of adult person in his area eligible for guaranteed employment under this Act. The Program Officer or the Gram Panchayat as the case may issue a job card with date and photograph. The registration shall be for such period as may be laid down in the programme, but in any case not less than five days, and may be renewed from time to time. However different persons belonging to the same household shall share the same job card.

(3) Every registered person shall be entitled to employment at the minimum wage, in accordance with the programme for the time being in force, for as many days as the applicant requests but not exceeding 100 days per house hold in a given financial year within 15 days of receipt of an application.
(5) The application must be for at least 14 days of continuous work. There shall be no limit on the number of days of employment for which a person applies, or on the number of days of employment actually provided to him or her applications may be submitted in writing either to the Gram panchayat or to the programme officer, through such procedures as may be prescribed in the programme rules. The Gram panchayat and Programme Officer, as the case may be, shall be bound to accept valid applications and to, issue a dated receipt to the applicant. Group applications may also be submitted as prescribed in the programme Rules.
(6) Applicants who are provided with work shall be notified in writing, by means of a letter sent to the address given in the job card and of a public notice displayed at the Gram Parnchayat Bhawan, through such procedures as may be specified in the rules.

(7) As far as possible, employment shall be provided with in radius of 5 kilometers of the village where the applicant resides at the time of applying. In case where employment is provided outside such radius, it must be provided within the Block, and transport allowance and daily allowance shall be paid in accordance with the Programme Rules.
(8) Any number of applications may be submitted over time by the same person, as per procedures laid down by the programme rules, so, however that the corresponding periods for which employment is sought do not over lap
(9)It shall be open for the Programme Officer to direct any person who volunteers for employment under the programme to do any casual work permissible under the programme. 22
(10) If the Gram panchayat or the Program Officer is satisfied, after due verification, that or person has registered by making false declarations of name, age or residence, it may recommend such persons name for deletion to the programme officer. The programme officer may after giving reasonable opportunity to the person concerned of being heard, delete his/her name from the register.

8. Medical Treatment and other facilities to labourers employed under the programme.-
(I) If any personal injury is caused to any person employed under they programme by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, he shall be entitled, free of charge, to such medical treatment as is admissible under the programme. Where hospitalization is a necessary, the State Government or Programme Officer shall arrange for such hospitalization including accommodation, treatment, medicines, and a daily allowance not less than half of the statutory minimum wage of agricultural labourers. In case of death or disability of such person, an ex. gratia payment shall be made to his legal heirs in the manner laid down as the workmen compensation Act.
(2) The following facilities shall be available at the work sites,
(i) Safe drinking water
(ii) Shade for small children and periods of rest,
(iii) A first aid box with adequate material for emergency treatment of minor injuries, strokes, body aches and other health hazards connected with the work being performed.

(3) In cases where at least twenty women are employed on a work site, a provision shall be made for one on them to be deputed to look after any children under the age of six who may be brought to the work site, if the need arises. Such person shall be preferably handicapped one so that he may also be given employment opportunity under this Act. The person deputed for child minding shall be paid the statutory minimum wage of agricultural labourers in the states.
(4)In case of any delay in the payment of wages, that is in the event where wages are paid later than 7 days beyond the week during which work has been done, labourers shall be entitled to the payment of compensation as per the Payment of wages Act. Wages may be paid in cash or in kind or both, taking into account the guidelines and recommendations of the State Council on this matter.

A proportion of the wages, not exceeding 5 per cent, may be deducted as a contribution to welfare schemes organised for the benefit of labourers employed under the programme, such as health, insurance, accident insurance, survivor benefits, maternity benefits and social security schemes. The relevant procedures, including stringent provisions for transparent and a accountable use of these funds for the benefit of labourers, employed, and possible provisions for matching grants from State Governments, shall be spelt out in the Rules and reviewed from time to time by the State Council. No deduction from wages shall be made until such time as the relevant social security schemes are functional.

(7) If personal injury is caused by accident to a child accompanying any person who is employed under the Programme, the person shall be entitled, free of charge, to such medical treatment for the child as the State Government may, by general or special order, determine, and in case of death or disablement, to ex-gratia payment as specified in the Rules.
(8) In no circumstances shall there be any discrimination on the basis of gender in the provision of employment or the payment of wages, as per the provisions of the Equal Remuneration Act 1976.
(9) Facilities may be provided for the employment of persons unable to do any casual manual work on account of physical or mental disabilities in activities that are compatible with there abilities. Such disabilities shall be recorded at the time of registration.

9. Payment of Unemployment allowance.-
(1)An applicant who is not provided with employment within 15 days of application shall be entitled for payment of unemployment allowance at such rate as the State Government may fix in consultation with the State Government.
(2) The liability of the State Government to pay unemployment allowance shall commence after the expiry of 15 days from the date of application and 15 days from the date from which employment is sought, in the case of advance applications. It shall cease as soon as (i) the applicant is directed by the Gram Panchayat or Programme Officer to report for work, (ii) the period for which employment is sought comes to an end, or (iii) the applicant household has received 100 days of work within the financial year.

(3)Any applicant who is provided with employment and does not report for work within 15 days of being notified under sub-section 6 of section 7, or who is absent from work for more than one week without a valid application for exemption, shall stand debarred from applying for work or receiving unemployment allowance for a period of fifteen days.
(4) The unemployment allowance shall be sanctioned by the programme Officer or such local authority as may be empowered by the State Government for this purpose. The State Government may prescribe such procedure as it deems fit for the payment of unemployment allowances, The allowance shall be paid at the end of such week and in any case is paid not later than 7 days from the close of the week for which it is due.
(5)In all cases where unemployment allowance is actually paid, or due to be paid, the programme Officer shall be bound to provide a written explanation spelling out why it has not been possible to provide employment to the applicant. A similar explanation shall be provided by the, Chief Executive Officer, in his or her annual report to the State council, In such cases, appropriate action shall be taken by the State Government as par the Rules.

10. Function of the Programme officer and Gram Panchayat.-
The Programme Officer shall be responsible for matching the demand for employment with employment opportunities arising from projects in the area within his jurisdiction. These projects may include works taken up by the Gram Panchayat as well works taken up by other implementing agencies.
(1) The responsibilities of the Programme Officer under the programme further include:
(i) Monitoring of projects taken up by the Gram Panchayats and other implementing agencies within the Block
(ii) Sanctioning and ensuring the payment of unemployment allowances,
(iii) Ensuring the prompt and fair payment of wages to all labourers employed under the
Programme within the Block;

(iv) Dealing promptly with any public complaints that may arise in connection with the implementation of projects taken up within the Block; (v) ensuring that ;regular social audits of all works within the jurisdiction of the Gram Panchayat are carried out by the Gram Sabha and that prompt action is taken on the objections raised in the social audits.
(3)At the Gram Panchayat level, the Gram Panchayat shall be responsible for planning the projects taken up under the programmes as per the recommendations of the Gram Sabha (and ward Sabhas, if applicable) and for executing and supervising these works. Projects taken up by the Gram Panchayat shall be subject to the administrative sanction of the programme officer.
(4) Each Gram Panchayat shall maintain a shelf of possible works to be taken up under the Programme as and when demand for work arises, taking into account the recommendations of the Gram Sabha (and, if applicable, Ward Sabhas). Proposals for these projects, including an order of priority between different works, shall be sent to the Programme officer for scrutiny and preliminary approval, prior to commencement of the financial year when the works are to be executed.

(5) The Programme Officer shall supply each Gram Panchayat with muster rolls for the works sanctioned at the Gram Panchayat level, and also a list of employment opportunities available elsewhere to residents of the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Panchayat shall allocate employment opportunities among the applicants and ask them to report for work.
(6) Adequate staff and technical support shall be made available by the State Government to the Gram Panchayat and Programme Officer for the purpose of carrying their responsibilities under this Act.
(7) The programme Rules shall provide for the formation of suitable committees at the Block and District levels, for the purpose of (i) preparing a shelf of possible projects to be taken up at the Block and District levels; (ii) issuing guidelines for the monitoring and evaluation of projects taken up at the Block and District levels (iii) dealing with any public complaints that may arise in connection with the implementation of projects taken up at the Block and District levels. Provision shall be made, in the programme Rules, for adequate inclusion of elected representatives, women and disadvantaged communities on the Committees. The committee shall be answerable to elected representatives at the appropriate level, through such procedures as may be described in the programme Rules.

11. Transparency and accountability.
(1) The Chief Executive Officer, and Programme Officer in the District shall be responsible for the funds placed at their disposal by the Central Government and the State Government. They shall maintain the Accounts of employment and expenditure in such manner as may be prescribed.
(2) The State Government shall put in place, within the Rules of the Programme, adequate arrangements to ensure transparency and accountability at all levels in the implementation of the programme, including:
(i) Regular inspection of the works taken up under the Programme.

(ii) Each Gram Panchayat Progrmme Officer and District Commissioner Chief Executive Officer shall prepare an annual report on the implementation of the programme in the area within its jurisdiction. The report shall be made available in convenient form for public scrutiny.
(iii) All accounts and records relating to the programme shall be available in convenient form for public scrutiny. Copies shall be provided to anyone on demand at cost price, as per procedures specified in the Rule.
(iv) The details of each project, including a summary of expenditure and labour employed, shall be prominently displayed on a board close to the site after completion of the work. Similar information shall be painted on the walls of the Gram Panchayat office and updated from time to time, as prescribed in the Rules.
(v) A copy of the muster rolls for each project taken up by or in the Gram Panchayat shall be posted at the Gram Panchayat office until such time as the wages are paid.
(vi) The Gram Sabha shall monitor the work of the Gram Panchayat. In particular, Gram Sabhas (and, if applicable, ward sabhas) shall conduct regular social audits of all the projects taken up within their jurisdiction. All relevant documents, including muster rolls, bills, vouchers, measurement books, copies of sanctions, etc., will be presented to the Gram Sabha for purposes of social audit.

Completion and utilisation certificates of works taken up under the programme by the Gram Panchayat shall be issued by the Gram Sabha after conducting the relevant social audits.
(vii) The productive aspects of the work s shall be evaluated by technically qualified personal to ensure that they meet the required technical standards and measurements. Supervisory authorities shall be held responsible for any shortcoming in this respect.
(3) Payment of wages and unemployment allowances shall be made directly to the person concerned in front of the community on pre-announced dates.
(4) If any dispute of complaint arises concerning the implementation of the programme by the Gram Panchayat, the matter shall be referred to the programme Officer, who will be required to settle the complaint within 7 days. Appropriate provisions shall be made in the Rules for the maintenance of complaint registers and issuing of receipts.

12.Penalties for non-compliance with the Provisions of the Act.-
The Chief Executive Officer or the programme officer who has, without any reasonable cause, failed to 25 carry out functions under this Act, shall be liable upon summary conviction to a fine of not less than Rs. 1,000 or imprisonment up to six months or both.

13. Extension of work entitlements-
(1) The State Governments may to raise the household entitlement of 100 days of work per year beyond 100 days, or extend it to every adult (or to urban areas), in some or all areas of the State.

14. Establishment and utilization of state Employment Guarantee Funds,-
(1) On the date of commencement of this Act, the State Government shall constitute a fund called the State Employment Guarantee Fund consisting of.-
(2)Any amount to the credit of the Fund established under the State Professional Tax, shall stand transferred to, and form part of, the State Fund;
(3)The amount standing to the credit of the State Fund shall be expanded in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed for the purpose of implementing the Programme (including for meeting the administrative charges and for making ex-gratia payments as provided under this Act).
(a) Amounts transferred from various tax sources as the State Government may specify;

(b) A separate tax by name “State Employment Guarantee Tax” ;that may be created by the State Government;
(c) Any contributions or grants made by the State Government, the Central Government or any local authority;
(d) Any sums received from other bodies or ;individuals, whether incorporated or not;
(e) Whatever further resources may be required, from the Consolidated Fund of the State, to ensure that the entitlements under this Act are met.
(1) The amount standing to the credit of the Fund shall be expended exclusively for the purpose of implementing the Programme.
(2) The accounts of the Fund shall be audited in such manner submitted to the State Assembly, and made available in convenient form for public scrutiny at the end of each financial year.
(3) The Fund shall be held and administered on behalf of the State Government by an officer not below the rank of a Secretary to the State Government, subject to such general or special directions as may be given by the State Government, from time to time.

15. Delegation of Powers.-
The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that the powers exercisable by it, except the powers to make the programme and the Rules, shall in circumstances and under conditions specified by the notification, be exercisable also by such officers subordinated to it as may be specified in the notification.

16. Act to have overriding effect.-
The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force.

17. Power to make Rules.-
(1) State Government may, after previous publication; make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act...

(2 )Every Rule made under this Act shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of the legislature, while it is in session for a total period of thirty days, which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made and notify such decisions in the Official Gazette, the rule shall from the date of publication of such notification have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be, so, however, that any such modification or amendment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that Act.


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