New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Almost twice the number of MGNREGA workers have received their wages on time so far this year on account of use of digital technology and other measures, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) said on Friday.
“To ensure that MGNREGA workers receive their wages on time, National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS) has been put in place. Almost 96 per cent of wages are being credited directly to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Additionally, intense monitoring and fixing accountability for delays in payments has shown significant results in the current financial year,” it added.
The use of such steps had led to “around 85 per cent of the wages” being paid to workers on time this year till September, it said.
According to the data given by the ministry, less than 50 per cent workers had got their wages on time last year.
In 2016-17, percentage of those who received it on time was 42.16, while in the previous three years the number was 36.92, 26.85, and 50 per cent.
The ministry said that current year was “marked by the highest-ever budget allocation of Rs 48,000 crore”, out of which Rs 35,436.92 crore had been paid till now.
It said that Fund Transfer Order (FTO) for Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal has been pending because of “irregularities in implementation” and it will be released once “complete and sufficient response is received”.
In accordance with its “bottom-up participatory” approach, the ministry claimed that the Gram Panchayats (GPs) were encouraged and their authority abided when it came to deciding the nature of work to be executed.
“The Centre safeguards the decisions of the local bodies through its emphasis on creation of shelf of projects in the GPs is in no way an attempt to undermine their authority,” it said.
At the same time, it said it strove to “optimise public investments” through convergence of MGNREGS work suggested by the local bodies with other schemes — as it did with construction of houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).