TODAY -

Swindling of MGNREGS wages : RD&PR Minister vows to crack down
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 28 2020: Taking serious note of the reports that some Pradhans, and Gram Panchayat Members have been scheming to swindle wages of MGNREGS workers in cahoots with some bank officials, RD&PR Minister Th Biswajit has asserted that befitting action would be initiated if the reports are found to be true.

After giving 43 days' work to MGNREGS card holds during 2019-20, the State Government has set a target of 50 days' work in 2020-21.Moreover, due process has been initiated to release Rs 515 crore shortly, Biswajit said.

As a result of the State Government's persistent efforts, Ministry of Rural Development released around 952.32 crore during the past two weeks.

This amount included Rs 214.75 crore which was released on March 23 as second instalment for the previous fiscal 2019-20.For the current financial year, the first instalment of Rs 737.56 crore was released on April 4, he informed.

Out of the Rs 737.56 crore released by the Ministry of Rural Development, the State Finance Department released Rs 515.40 crore.

The State matching share of Rs 25 crore too has been released.

Out of the Rs 515.40 crore released by the Finance Department, Rs 263 crore is meant for payment of last financial year's liability for 22 days' wages.

The remaining Rs 252.39 crore is meant for paying 10 days' wages for the current financial year.

This amount would be distributed to districts soon, Biswajit said.

After the amount of Rs 515.40 crore (out of Rs 737.57 crore released by the Ministry of Rural Development) is utilised, the remaining amount of Rs 222 crore would be released without any delay.

This amount would be sufficient to provide 10 days' work to all MGNREGS card holders, said the RD&PR Minister.

Informing that the number of work-days sanctioned by the Ministry of Rural Development for Manipur during the current financial is 50, Biswajit said that the State Government would work to secure funds for another 50 days' work after submitting utilisation certificate for the current financial year's first instalment.

If the same initiative is approved by the Centre, MGNREGS card holders of the State would get 100 work-days this financial year, he continued.

Claiming that the MGNREGS works are being monitored from time to time through social audits, Biswajit said that due process has been initiated to develop new assets under MGNREGS after formulating the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).

Saying that MGNREGS wages have been transferred to personal accounts of job card holders in the valley districts through eFMS, Biswajit said that the same initiative is currently restricted to just 18 blocks in the hill districts on account of certain constraints including non-availability of internet facility.

He then appealed to all MGNREGS job card holders who have not opened bank accounts to open the same at the earliest.

Taking serious note of the reports that Pradhans and Gram Panchayat Members have been scheming to swindle wages of MGNREGS job card holders in cahoots with some bank officials, Biswajit said that officials concerned have been directed to look into the matter minutely.

Saying that he would seek a report from senior bank officers on the matter, the RD&PR Minister pledged that befitting action would be initiated against all Pradhans, Members and bank officials concerned if the reports about swindling wages are found to be true.


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