NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Rural Development has admitted that the lack of manpower and banking facilities in villages is hampering the direct benefit transfer under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
While admitting a delay in the generation of pay orders, Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav said about 99 per cent of the MGNREGS wages were paid electronically in the current year as compared to 37 per cent in 2013-14. “The delay in generation of pay orders is caused due to the delay in assessment of work due to an inadequate number of technical assistants and barefoot technicians,” he informed the Lok Sabha.
To streamline the fund flow and to bring down a delay in payment of wages, the ministry has already implemented the National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS) in 24 states and one UT.
Officials in the ministry say a host of other reasons contribute to the delay in generation of payment orders.
“Sometimes, there is a delay in filing of attendance and there are times when attendance is not filed at all. There are delays in checking the measurement of work by junior and assistant engineers,” a ministry official said. “Also, there is a lack of IT infrastructure at the gram panchayat-level. Core banking solutions are poor at the village- level.”
According to ministry officials, the mismatch of account information of MNREGS beneficiaries in the software — NREGDASoft — was also causing a delay in the generation of pay orders.
For the financial year 2018-19, the central fund allocation went up to 14.5% over the previous year to H55,000 crore. But, according to an IndiaSpend report, the percentage of wages unpaid was 57% in