Liabilities of MGNREGA: RDD&PR refutes news item
JAMMU: Reacting to a news item carried by a local daily, mentioning that over Rs 200 cr liabilities of MGNREGA are pending for 2016-17, 2017-18, the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RDD&PR) of J&K government clarified that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) scheme mainly focuses upon wage employment for unskilled manual work. The mandate of the scheme is to provide livelihood and employment opportunities to the rural households.
The UT of J&K has observed an increasing trend in the last two years in the person days generation and wage employment with 4.06 crore and 4.07 crore person days generated in the year 2021-22 and 2020-21 respectively. There has also been an enhancement in the percentage of timely payment of wages in the last two years from 6.02% in 2019-20 to 93.72% in 2021-22, a spokesman of the department said.
All the details of the funds released from Government of India under MGNREGA and payments made under wage and material component against each work is available in the public domain on NREGASoft, which is an online transparent portal maintained by GoI with automatic updation. The payment of wages is done through National electronic Fund Management System and all the funds released by Government of India are transferred into the account of MGNREGA Job Card holders through Direct Benefit Transfer. Due to the timely payments, the demand for work under MGNREGA has enhanced.
MGNREGA prescribes the maintenance of 60:40 ratio in the wage and material cost of works. For FY 2016-17 and 2017-18, the funds for material component as per 40% material cap has been released to all the districts. However, in some works where there has been the violation of 60:40 ratio, the District Programme Coordinators (Deputy Commissioners) and Directors, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj have been entrusted with the responsibility to verify the works on ground and accordingly recommend the liabilities to the Government, he said.
The UT Government is committed to resolve the issues faced by the public and the entrustment of verifying the liability of material claims pertaining to the FY 2016-17 and 2017-18 under MGNREGA to the senior officers is a testimony to that. There has been no official communication or statement from the UT Government stating that the liability pertains to the PRI members. The PRI members are in place since December 2018 onwards and the liability pertains to the period prior to that, so the involvement of PRI members does not arise.
The UT Government has always believed in strengthening the grass root level democracy and hence devolved powers to the PRI members for making payments under MGNREGA. The process of verification of material liabilities under MGNREGA for FY 2016-17 and 2017-18 has culminated in the Jammu Division and is being expedited in Kashmir Division. The matter is under active consideration of the UT Government especially with the departments of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and the Finance department of UT of J&K and they are endeavouring to resolve the issue expeditiously, the spokesman added.