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Around 89% MGNREGA wages paid on time in FY18 so far, claims govt

Wages paid after 15 days of closure of muster rolls is considered delayed payment

Sanjeeb Mukherjee  |  New Delhi 

MGNREGA

Armed with enhanced fund release, the ministry of rural development on Wednesday claimed that it has managed to make 89.08 per cent wage payments to workers within the 15-day mandatory time period in the current financial year so far.

"Timely payment of wages has been a major concern. In the current financial year, 20.88 crore person days of work has been generated so far and 89.08 per cent of wage payments have been made within 15 days of work done," the rural development ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday.

In 2016-17, around 42.67 per cent of wages were paid on time, that is within 15 days after completing work alloted under MGNREGA, while in 2015-16, around 36.92 per cent wages were paid on time.

Under MGNREGA, wages paid after the stipulated 15-day period following closure of muster rolls, is considered as delayed payment.

Meanwhile, the statement said that 22 states including Puducherry received directly through National Electronic Fund Management System. Howver, the remaining states have access to the system in nearly all cases.

The statement also said that the thrust of the ministry is on water conservation and states have adopted Mission Water Conservation Guidelines to focus on 2,264 water-stressed and irrigation-deficient blocs in the country.

In April, the government released almost 49 per cent of the total Budget allocation of Rs 48,000 crore for the flagship schmje. Part of the released amount was supposed to be used to clear pending dues, totaling around Rs 10,546.11 crore. Amount released, which included all pending liabilities as on March 31 this year, was supposed to help in prioritising water conservation measures as well.

Liabilities were on account of pending wages, amounting to around Rs 4,926 crore, material expenditure to the tune of around Rs 5,430 crore and an administrative expenditure of Rs 189 crore.

In the previous financial year, a considerable amount of the budget was spent on clearing pending dues, of which Rs 6,700 crore was purely on account of pending wages.

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