Skip to main content

Deficit in wage payments reaches Rs 481 crore: Additional Rs 40k sought for NREGA

By Our Representative

The civil rights organization, People's Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), which has released three trackers over the last two months claimint to focus on "core issues" and "performance" of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) amidst the COVID-19 crisis, has estimated that, as on September 9, 2020, five months in the current financial year (2020-21), there is already a deficit of Rs 481 crore for providing jobs to the rural poor.
Given this situation, a PAEG statement, providing details of the actual allocation and the amount spent on NREGA in 2020-21, said, “Unless the additional promised amount of Rs 40,000 crores is released immediately, delays in wage payments that have already begun will compound the woes of the marginalised.”
Wondering there is a shift in Government of India (GoI) policy, PAEG conceded, till now it was treating NREGA as a supply-driven programme instead of a demand-based employment guarantee scheme. However, for the first time in six years, it recognised, albeit because of the special situation arising out of the Covid crisis, the importance of the scheme, leading to the allocation of Rs 40,000 crore, in addition to the original allocation of Rs 60,000 crore.
“So far this year, timely and adequate allocation of funds has implied timely payment of wages”, it said. However, it pointed out, “While in absolute terms, this is the highest ever allocation, but the financial year (FY) began with pending wage liabilities of around Rs 16,000 crore.”
Hence, it said, “Fresh allocation for the current FY is actually around Rs 84,000 crore. Even considering Rs 1 lakh crore as the allocation, as a percentage of the GDP (~0.48%), it is still like what it was in 2010-11. Even before the half-way mark in this FY, about Rs 64,000 crore have already been spent”, suggesting, GoI urgently needs to allocate more funds." 
This is required because, it said, “The unplanned lockdown has resulted in a massive crisis of livelihood and high levels of food insecurity. Having endured severe hostility and distress, the majority of migrant workers returned home to their villages over the lockdown period and many are yet to return to cities.”
It added, “With limited employment opportunities in rural India, the only viable dignified livelihood option for many of these migrants as well as the rest of the rural poor, is the NREGA.” Things failed to picked up initially amidst lockdown because over the last six years, NREGA was “routinely under-funded, resulting in it becoming a de facto supply driven programme, with massive delays in wage payments.”
“In several states, the NREGA wages have been below the minimum wages which has discouraged workers from seeking employment in the programme”, PAEG said, adding, the problem further got compoinded because of the move “away from community asset creation to promotion of material-intensive, individual assets”, adversely impacting the generation of adequate employment for landless workers.”

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

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.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).