Patnaik said the Centre was supposed to release Rs 2,290.19 crore to the state by December-end but it had released only Rs 1,613.62 crore (including pending liability) till date, denoting a shortfall of Rs 676.57 crore.
The Chief Minister urged for the release of the funds or permission to the Odisha government to disburse wages to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme workers through e-FMS mode out of its own funds, subject to reconciliation of the amount on receipt of necessary allocation from the Ministry.
A request for utilisation of the corpus funds was sent to the Ministry on October 16.
"... the modalities for the release and recoupment of the funds may be finalised and communicated to the state at the earliest to ensure timely payment of wages to MGNREGA workers," the Chief Minister said.
The state government has declared 5,958 villages falling in 1,097 gram panchayats in 70 blocks in 15 districts as drought-affected.
Yet, labourers are not evincing interest in availing MGNREGA work due to non-distribution of wages on time.
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