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

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

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.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

August 9 to be observed as Corporates Quit India day: Top farmers' group

By Our Representative A recent general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the top farmers' organisation, stated hat "there is no need for any illusion of change in the pro-corporate policies of the BJP-NDA government" following the recent elections in which BJP failed to achieve even simple majority. It insisted,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is hell bent" to continue 'business as usual' policies.

Maharashtra govt's proposed bill may be used against 'dissenting' journalists, writers, filmmakers, artists

Counterview Desk  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra, strongly objecting to what it calls “repressive and unconstitutional” Maharashtra Special Public Security Bill 2024, has demanded the proposed law be scrapped in its entirety. In its Statement of Objects and Reasons for the Bill, PUCL noted,  the broad and non-descript label of ‘urban naxal’ has been used, which is actually a “common slur used for any citizen who expresses their opposition to state policy or is not aligned with right-wing majoritarian views."

Belgian report alleges MNC Etex responsible for asbestos pollution in Madhya Pradesh town Kymore: COP's Geneva meet

By Our Representative A comprehensive Belgian report has held MNC Etex , into construction business and one of the richest, responsible for asbestos pollution in Kymore, an industrial town in in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh. The report provides evidence from the ground on how Kymore’s dust even today is “annoying… it creeps into your clothes, you have to cough it”, saying “It can be deadly.”