Centre Releases Rs 12.2K Crore to Put MGNREGA on Track

Move after SC rap; funds to take care of wage liability; activists claim sum not enough

Published: 10th April 2016 03:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2016 03:31 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Following a rap from the Supreme Court, the Centre on Saturday released what it called the largest ever tranche of Rs 12,230 crore to states for implementing the rural employment guarantee scheme. The money is likely to be used mainly to pay wages to workers who are employed under the scheme.

Activists, however, claimed that the funds released were not enough. Union Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said in a statement that the fund release would take care of the pending wage liability of the states for the previous financial year (2015-16) and help states run the programme during the new financial year (2016-17) of the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Activists, however, claimed that the amount would just be enough to pay the pending wages for last year and would not  take care of this year’s expenses.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday pulled up the Centre for not releasing adequate funds to states for MGNREGA and asked it to give details of expenditure on the scheme in drought-hit states, saying relief has to be provided now and not after one year.

The Rural Development Minister also rebutted reports published in a section of media that there are arrears of wages of over Rs  8,000 crore under MGNREGA for the 2015-2016 financial year.

“In fact, the year 2015-16 has registered expenditure under MGNREGA to the tune of Rs 41,371 crore, which is the highest expenditure under the programme since its inception. Out of this expenditure Rs 30,139 crore has gone towards payment of wages.

“This has allowed for the highest employment generation over the past three years and the best achievement on key parameters over the last three years such as works taken up, 55 per cent women participation and 95 per cent of payments through electronic fund management system,” he said.

He said that in 2015-16, states were asked to provide employment where needed, particularly drought affected areas, with the assurance of making required resources available.

“The ministry expanded the entitlement from 100 to 150 days of work to households in drought affected regions of ten states. 20.48 lakh households in these regions have availed this opportunity and completed more than 100 days of work. At the national level 44 lakh households have completed 100 days,” he said.

The government also said that it has decided to maintain a 60:40 wage-material ratio for the MGNREGA now at the district level instead of the panchayat level as was the case earlier. Social activts Nikhi Dey, associated with organisations like Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, told Express the money released by the government would just be enough to pay back wages.

Bone of Contention

  • SC had pulled up the Centre for not releasing funds to states for MGNREGA and asked it to give details of expenditure on the scheme in drought-hit states
  • MGNREGA has allowed for the highest employment generation over the past three years
  • Centre rebuts reports that there are arrears of wages of over `8,000 crore under MGNREGA for the 2015-2016
  • Centre to maintain a 60:40 wage-material ratio for MGNREGA now at the district level instead of the Panchayat level
  •  The Centre expanded the entitlement from 100 to 150 days of work to households in drought-hit regions of 10 states
  • 20.48 lakh households in these regions have availed this opportunity and completed more than 100 days of work
  • At the national level 44 lakh households have completed 100 days
Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp