Skip to main content

Unpaid MGNREGA wages to rural workers reach 99% from less than 1% in Sept 2017, are rising ever since: Official data

By Our Representative
In a major revelation, the well-known rural jobs advocacy group fighting for the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2006,the MGNREGA Sangharsh Morcha, has said that pendency in the payment of MGNREGA wages has reached a whopping 99.19% under the rural guarantee scheme, have remained "unpaid" in April 2018.
In fact, the Government of India figures released by the advocacy group suggest that the pendency of unpaid wages have been going up every month. Thus, the pendency was less than 1% in September 2017 (0.91%), in October 2017 it was 12.26%, reaching 17.79% in November 2017, 19.1% in December 2017, 20.7% in January 2018, shooting up to 63.56% in February 2018, and 85.57% in March 2018.
According to the Sangharsh Morcha, "Stagnant wage rates are not the only rude shock that workers of the MGNREGA received this month. Most of the them also remain unpaid for the work done by them in the past few months."
Pointing out that 99% of the Fund Transfer Orders (FTOs) for MGNREGA wage payments sent to the Public Finance Management (PFMS) in April 2018 remain unprocessed, the Sangharsh Morcha says, "The bulk of FTOs of the last two months are also yet to be processed –- 86 per cent of the FTOs of March and 64 per cent of the FTOs of February."
It says, "In January 2016, the Central government introduced the National Electronic Fund Management System (NEFMS), allegedly to streamline the process of MGNREGA wage payments. However, this system has only tightened the Ministry’s leash over MGNREGA funds."
"Now it routinely withholds the processing of FTOs. Also, in NEFMS states are no longer able to make payments to workers from their revolving funds to tide over delays in release of funds by the Ministry", it alleges.
Last year, the Ministry froze processing of FTOs worth over Rs 3,000 crore due to lack of MGNREGA funds, the Sangharsh Morcha estimates. "It may be recalled that in August 2017, the Ministry of Rural Development demanded a supplementary MGNREGA budget of Rs 17,000 crore, but the Ministry of Finance approved only Rs 7,000, that too in January 2018", it adds.
According to the Sanghash Morcha, "As inadequate funds should not be a problem at the beginning of a financial year, the reason for the current non-processing of FTOs is not clear."
It underlines, "The situation of long and unpredictable delays in MGNREGA wage payments continues despite the ongoing public interest litigation filed by Swaraj Abhiyan in which the Supreme Court has instructed the government to ensure that workers are paid within 15 days of doing work. Moreover, workers are not compensated for the wage delays that take place after the generation of FTOs."
"In a damning document, the Ministry of Finance accepts the partial payment of compensation", the Sangharsh Morcha says, adding, "It goes on to state that payment of compensation for the entire duration of delay will be a heavy financial burden on the government."
"This exposes the deliberate underfunding of the employment guarantee programme. As the Modi government failed to curtail MGNREGA through overt measures such as restricting the programme to the poorest districts or reducing the wage -– material ratio, it has resorted to undermining the Act by starving it of funds", it says.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Modi has threatened to discontinue MNREGA. He is doing it now : choking it

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.

Online education 'driving' digital divide: $1.97 bn industry's paid users grow at 6x rate

Counterview Desk
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra, in a new report in the series on Lockdown on Civil Liberties focusing on education has said that there is a huge “push-out” children due during the pandemic, with deepening digital-divide playing a major role.