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Adequate funds for MNREGS, no preconditions for employment, says Centre

Author: IANS/Saturday, October 28, 2017/Categories: Government

Adequate funds for MNREGS, no preconditions for employment, says Centre

New Delhi - The central government is ensuring adequate fund flow to states under MNREGS and has already released more than Rs 40,000 crore in this financial year, the Rural Development Ministry said.

"There is no paucity of funds for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) at this juncture. However, the Ministry has sought additional funds from the Ministry of Finance for meeting additional requirements," it said in a release.

It also sought to clarify that "there are no preconditions like Aadhaar number linkage to bank account, uploading of photograph on electronic job card or denial of work to households not possessing toilets for getting wage employment under MNREGS".

The government's clarification came after reports that the flagship programme is facing fund crunch this year, resulting in unpaid dues of Rs 3,066 crore in wage payments in 19 states. 

The Rural Development Ministry said it has already processed the proposals submitted by six states for release of the second installment of funds. These include Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu.

Except for Tamil Nadu the rest of the states have BJP governments with BJP a coalition partner in Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Ministry said that it has been "constantly engaging" with the rest of the states and Union Territories (UTs) for submission of proposals "without delay".

It said that according to norms, after September 30 of every year, the states and UTs are required to submit audited reports and utilization certificates (UC) of previous financial year along with other requisite information in prescribed formats for release of second tranche of funds. 

The Ministry conducted a special mid-term review with the states and Union Territories between August 29 and October 13 this year "to facilitate the submission of proposal for second tranche". 

"The submission of complete proposal including audited reports and UCs is mandatory for ensuring financial discipline. The Ministry has been scrutinizing the complete proposals with promptness and has been releasing funds," it said. 

It said that "in line with the directives of the Supreme Court the Ministry is taking all steps to ensure timely payment of wages as well as payment of compensation for delay in payment of wages".

"The Ministry is also regularly reviewing the process from the generation of Fund Transfer Orders (FTOs) to the actual credit of the wages into the accounts of the workers. 

"It has been constantly following up with Chief Managing Directors of Banks, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Public Financial Management System (PFMS), Department of Posts and Department of Financial Services to ensure credit of wages into the accounts of the workers within 24 hours of release," it said.

The Ministry said that it is "committed" to making adequate funds available for implementation of the programme (MNREGS) and ensuring timely payment of wages "along with greater focus on drought proofing, agricultural and allied activities and diversification of livelihoods".

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rajyashree guha

IANS

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