VIJAYAWADA: Panchayat Raj Minister Nara Lokesh on Wednesday met Union Panchayat Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi and requesting for the release of wage arrears and material components under the MGNREGS. When Lokesh explained to Tomar that the State was to receive `500 crore towards wage component and `1,175 crore towards material component, the latter is said to have agreed to release `150 crore and `200 crore towards wages and materials respectively.
According to a press release from the minister’s office, Lokesh informed Tomar that the Centre had not released the wage component under the MNREGS since November 15 last year. “The beneficiaries are facing inconvenience due to the delay in the release of funds. A total of `1,175 crore has to be given towards material component before the end of the current fiscal year. The State is yet to get the reimbursement of `2,138 crore, which we spent for making pending payments after getting the Centre’s permission,” Lokesh said.
He elaborated on the social audit of the roads to be conducted using drones and the real time monitoring. To this, Tomar is said to have asked Lokesh to inform the Union ministry after the successful completion of the social audit.
‘Cheaper rates to attract firms’
Reacting to the PIL filed by BJP State President Kanna Lakshminarayana in the HC against the alleged irregularities in extending incentives, Lokesh defended the allocation of lands at cheaper prices