NEW DELHI: After many states flagged shortage of funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), the Centre is considering increasing the allocation by 30% and it may ask for extra allocation under the next supplementary demand during winter session of the parliament.
“The Centre is already considering request from the Rural Development Ministry for additional allocation under MGNREGA scheme. We are looking for 30% additional allocation. If required, the supplementary demand may be raised during the next winter session,” a senior finance ministry official told TNIE.
Allocations for MGNREGA scheme stood at Rs 73,000 crore in 2021-22. This amount was higher than the Budget estimates for the previous year, but it was 35% lower than the revised estimates of Rs 1.11 lakh crore. According to the sources in the financial ministry, out of the budgetary allocation under the scheme, Rs 64,000 crore were already released.
This amount was already exhausted by many states. Finance ministry has already directed to release the additional amount.
The matter was highlighted on October 29, following reports that the Centre’s flagship rural employment scheme has run out of funds halfway through the financial year, adding that MGNREGA expenditure including payments due had already reached Rs 79,810 crore, with 21 states showing a negative net balance.
“There is no controversy. We are not holding on funds. Last year the allocation was lower at Rs 61,500 crore but following the lockdown government had released additional budget, raising it to Rs 1.11 lakh crore. But that was exceptional year. This year also we are committed to raise allocation if demand require and are working to make for higher allocation,” the official clarified.
According to the latest data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) last week, the Centre has contained its fiscal deficit at 35% of the Bbudget target by the first half of this fiscal year, on account of robust tax collection, as its net tax receipts rose 101% on year to Rs 9.2 lakh crore or 59.6% of FY22BE.
Additional amount to be released soon
Out of the budgetary allocation under the scheme, Rs 64,000 crore were already released. This amount was already exhausted by many states. Finance ministry has already directed to release the additional amount.
21 states have flagged a negative net balance
Rs 73,000 crore Initial Budget allocations for MGNREGA in 2021-22.
Rs 1.11 lakh cr Allocation under revised Budget estimates.
Rs 64,000 cr Already released and exhausted by several states.