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MGNREGA woes continue, Centre yet to release wage

Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 3: The Mahatma Gandhi tiol Rural employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has not had a smooth and satisfactory sail in Assam despite the oft-reported thrust on it both by the previous Congress-led government and the current one led by the BJP at the Centre. The grimness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that many job MGNREGA job card holders are without wages at present while some have yet to be paid since 2014-15. This came to light in the Assam Legislative Assembly on Tuesday when Panchayat & Rural Development Minister ba Kumar Doley responded to a query by senior AGP MLA Phani Bhusan Choudhury as the latter sought the details of MGNREGA implementation in the State.
What was also reflected was that there had been a plethora of half-done MGNREGA schemes, and that since December last year the Centre had not released any fund for disbursal of the wages of MGNREGA job card holders in the State.
Doley said since its inception, under MGNREGA, 4, 14,551 schemes had been taken up in the State, of which 1,49,575 are yet to be completed and works of another 4,497 have totally stopped.
According to the information furnished by the minister, wages amounting Rs 76.65 crore are yet to disbursed to the job card holders. The break-up is: Rs 4.06 crore in 2014-15, Rs 7.46 crore in 2015-16, Rs 20.37 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 44.76 crore in 2017-18. He said since December last year the Centre has not released any MGNREGA wages.
“But we are hopeful for an early release of MGNREGA wages by the Centre. We have also taken a decision to take an advance of Rs 200 crore from the State budget to meet the wage disbursal challenge to a certain extent,” said Doley.
According to the information revealed by the minister, in 2017-18, 752 families in the State had demanded work under MGNREGA but they could not be given any work. However, 9,907 families have got 100-day work. At present there are 42,91,433 MGNREGA job card holders in the State, out of which 25,96.096 are active.
“After our party came to power, about 4.5 lakh false job card holders were identified and they have been cancelled. For this anomaly earlier, Rs 164 crore was misused,” said Doley.