Cobweb delaying MGNREGA payment needs to be surgically cleared

New Delhi: A Parliamentary standing committee in its report on MGNREG Act observed that the bureaucratic cobweb surrounding the factors for delay in payment need to be surgically cleared off.

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The Parliamentary panel on Rural Development observed that the timely payment of wages guaranteed under the MGNREG Act assumes paramount importance which acts as additional allurement to the poor and marginalised sections of the society.

“On this premise, the Committee had painfully seized themselves of the burning issue of inordinate delay in the payment of wages to the beneficiaries under MGNREGA and recommended DoRD to entail all possible measures to wipe off the wage liabilities to the tune of Rs 2,76,378.22 lakh as on 05.11.2021,” said the report recently tabled in the Parliament.

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“Responding to the Committee, DoRD have only simply stated about the release of funds being a continuous process alongwith the provisions in vogue. It has also been mentioned that an amount of Rs 73,023.05 crore has been released to States/UTs for wage component under MGNREGA.

“The Committee are not oblivious to the ‘hue and cry’ for the release of pending wages across the Country for plethora of reasons. In this backdrop, the Committee finds the reply unsatisfactory as no specific action has been elicited regarding the complete wiping off of the pendency in wages,” it said.

The panel in its report noted that the release of the amount as stated by the DoRD maybe a step in the right direction but the ‘need of the hour’ is to ensure that the guarantee of payment of wages within 15 days as per the MGNREG Act should be complied with ‘in letter and spirit’, and not a single penny remains unpaid to the needy beneficiaries.

“The bureaucratic cobweb surrounding the factors for delay need to be surgically cleared off,” it said.

The Committee strongly reiterates their recommendation for taking more effective and result-oriented steps to ward off the malaise of delay in the payment of wages to the beneficiaries of MGNREGA, the report added.

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