The Government of India announced the extension of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which guarantees 100 days of wage employment to rural households, to all districts in the country, for performing manual labour at minimum wages.
Now, the NREGA scheme will cover all the remaining 265 districts from April 1, 2008. With an initial allocation of INR 11,500 crore, the scheme was started in February 2006 in 200 most backward districts having high Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population. An additional 130 districts were notified in 2007-08 and the budgetary allocation went up to Rs. 12,000 crore. The NREGA was enacted as part of the UPA government's National Common Minimum Programme.