The NREGA workers across the country are observing Action Day to revive proper functioning of MGNREGA from September 21 to 23.
The NREGA workers are mobilising to raise their demands of adequate funding, timely payment of wages and others.
“From September 21-23, NREGA workers across the country are mobilising to raise their issues and to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister. This is being done as part of the National Action Days called by the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM), a collective of groups that work with NREGA labourers across the country”, said the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha in a statement.
The NREGA Sangharsh Morcha is a national platform of workers’ collectives, trade unions, organisations and individuals engaged in public action on NREGA.
“Thousands of NREGA workers from 13 states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are carrying out “Kaam Do Abhiyaan” and staging demonstrations, rally, public meetings against the blatant violation of law by the central government in making MGNREGA payments”, it said in a release.
The NREGA Sangharsh Morcha said that while MGNREGA has very positive impacts, it has instead become fruitless, exploitative labour, where workers who have put in honest hard work, have to wait for their wages endlessly. In such a situation, there is a need to firm up NREGA implementation and end systematic corruption to ensure that workers get their basic NREGA entitlements like timely payment of wages, work on demand, compensation for late payment, unemployment allowance, said the Morcha.
“Around Rs 2800 crore are pending from the centre for this financial year and around 1984 crores are pending from previous FY. The average increase in NREGA wage rate across the country is measly 4.25 per cent whereas Union Government employees and pensioners get a dearness allowance (DA), of 31 per cent. 77 per cent of the budget had been spent in the first five months. 16 states are already in negative net balance condemning workers to aforced labour’ by delaying wage payments”, it added in the statement.
Last month, around six hundred NREGA workers and their supporters from 14 states had gathered at Jantar Mantar from August 2 to 4 under the banner of NREGA Sangharsh Morcha to raise these issues.