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Rural jobs scheme: Workers' stir in Tripura called off

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  15 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Agartala, March 14: Over 2,700 workers engaged in the Mahatma Gandhi tiol Rural Employment Guarantee Sheme in Tripura, who were on strike since Monday, withdrew the stir on Saturday.

The workers have been demanding annual wage hike at par with other government employees, regularisation of their employment and removal of anomalies in their service. The Tripura government had earlier asked the striking workers to rejoin their duties immediately or face action.

"We have withdrawn our agitation on Saturday afternoon for the time being," Tripura MGNREGA Karmachari Samany Samity secretary Joydeep Kar told IANS.

"The state government officials have been putting tremendous pressure on our members to withdraw the agitation and the state government described our stir as 'conspiracy', though we have been agitating following the democratic norms."

The agitating workers have also been demanding 20 days' paid leave every year and that their their service records should be maintained like that of other employees working in centrally sponsored schemes. Tripura Rural Development Minister resh Jamatia, Chief Secretary G. Kameswara Rao and other senior officials held a series of meetings with the striking workers during the past few days and assured them their demands would be considered under the rules."We have asked them to join duty immediately otherwise the state government would take strong action against them," Jamatia told reporters, adding that due to the stir the execution of the rural job guarantee scheme has been affected.

Meanwhile, Tripura topped all other states in implementation of the MGNREGA by providing 72 days of work per household in the outgoing fiscal year (2014-15) so far against the tiol average of 31.75 man-days.

The MGNREGA, launched in 2005, mandates 100 days of employment in a fincial year to at least one member of each rural household.

According to Tripura rural development department officials, the state has retained the top position for the fifth consecutive year by providing 87 to 88 man-days jobs per household during the past five years.

At a review meeting in New Delhi on Friday, Tripura officials told the central government officials that if the state gets the remaining central funds in time, it would be able to provide at least 86 days of work per household before the end of the fincial year on March 31.

According to the officials, the central government has indicated it would allocate Rs.1,500 crore under the scheme for the fincial year 2015-16. The current year's allocation was Rs.1,400 crore. (IANS)

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