Num­ber of MGNREGA work­ers paid timely has dou­bled: MoRD

Al­most 96 per cent of wages are be­ing cred­ited DI­RECTLY TO THE BEN­E­fi­CIA­RIES’ BANK AC­COUNTS.

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - IANS

NEW DELHI: Al­most twice the num­ber of MGNREGA work­ers have re­ceived their wages on time so far this year on ac­count of use of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy and other mea­sures, the Min­istry of Ru­ral Devel­op­ment (MoRD) said on Friday.

“To en­sure that MGNREGA work­ers re­ceive their wages on time, Na­tional Elec­tronic Fund Man­age­ment Sys­tem (NeFMS) has been put in place. Al­most 96 per cent of wages are be­ing cred­ited di­rectly to the ben­e­fi­cia­ries’ bank ac­counts,” the min­istry said in a state­ment.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, in­tense mon­i­tor­ing and fix­ing ac­count­abil­ity for de­lays in pay­ments has shown sig­nif­i­cant re­sults in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year,” it added.

The use of such steps had led to “around 85 per cent of the wages” be­ing paid to work­ers on time this year till Septem­ber, it said.

Ac­cord­ing to the data giv- en by the min­istry, less than 50 per cent work­ers had got their wages on time last year.

In 2016-17, per­cent­age of those who re­ceived it on time was 42.16, while in the pre­vi­ous three years the num­ber was 36.92, 26.85, and 50 per cent.

The min­istry said that cur­rent year was “marked by the high­est-ever bud­get al­lo­ca­tion of Rs 48,000 crore”, out of which Rs 35,436.92 crore had been paid till now.

It said that Fund Trans­fer Or­der ( FTO) for Andhra Pradesh and West Ben­gal

“Ad­di­tion­ally, in­tense mon­i­tor­ing and fix­ing ac­count­abil­ity for de­lays in pay­ments has shown sig­nif­i­cant re­sults in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year.”

has been pend­ing be­cause of “ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in im­ple­men­ta­tion” and it will be re­leased once “com­plete and suf­fi­cient re­sponse is re­ceived”.

In ac­cor­dance with its “bot­tom-up participatory” ap­proach, the min­istry claimed that the Gram Pan­chay­ats (GPs) were en­cour­aged and their au­thor­ity abided when it came to de­cid­ing the na­ture of work to be ex­e­cuted.

“The Cen­tre safe­guards the de­ci­sions of the lo­cal bod­ies through its em­pha­sis on cre­ation of shelf of projects in the GPs is in no way an at­tempt to un­der­mine their au­thor­ity,” it said.

At the same time, it said it strove to “op­ti­mise pub­lic in­vest­ments” through con­ver­gence of MGNREGS work sug­gested by the lo­cal bod­ies with other schemes —as it did with con­struc­tion of houses un­der the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yo­jana (PMAY).

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