CASTE WISE SPLIT IN WAGE PAYMENT TO THE WORKERS OF MGNREGA - ADVISED THE FINANCE MINISTER.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act of 2005, later named the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was passed by the UPA Government initially but it has made genuine progress in the last few years. In the present financial year, the Center led by the BJP government has allocated funds for the MGNREGA workers based on their caste. It said that it would allocate funds separately for the scheduled caste, the scheduled tribes, and other classes. Criticisms are being made because all the workers have the same rights and hence, no segregation must be made in their wage payment.
N. N Sinha, Rural Development Secretary on Thursday told that in this way the Center can directly measure the benefits of the backward communities individually through the budget. It is also because the people should know the intricate nuance. He clarified that the new system is unlikely to cause any delays in payment. However, a statement by the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha suggests that this system of payment further complicates the already complicated system. Whereas a study of wage payments in Jharkhand in April and May by LibTech India proposed that there were no differences in the time taken to make the payments to SC/ST workers and others.
The budget of 2021-22 by Smt. Sitaraman allocated 73.000 crores to this project, which was 34.52% below the revised estimate for 2020-21. Experts said that this would show a steep reduction in the employment of the number of person-days than what the job generation program had already achieved. The historic exodus of migrant workers back to their hometown also increased the demand for employment under this scheme. Therefore, these occasions had already contributed to the delay in the payments. Although assured by the government, it is highly probable that the current change will add to the miseries of the poor MGNREGA laborers.