Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Chouhan seeks relaxation in NREGA expenditure criterion

Shivraj singh Chouhan Shivraj singh Chouhan
Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: July 8, 2014 2:09 am

After Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan on Monday demanded that the central government should dilute the provisions of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to facilitate creating more durable assets from the money being spent on those schemes.

During his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday, Chouhan pitched for relaxing the criteria for expenditure on material component under the NREGA projects.

“There is a need to change NREGA to allow creation for durable assets. Existing wages-to-material ratio needs to be relaxed from 60:40 to 50:50. This will help create durable assets in rural India,” Chouhan told reporters after his meeting with Jaitley in Parliament House complex on Monday.

Chouhan’s demand will require amendments into the Schedule-I of NREG Act of 2005 that limits the expenditure on material and prohibits use of contractors while implementing projects under the flagship scheme.

“The cost of material component of projects including the wages of the skilled and semi-skilled workers taken up under the Scheme shall not exceed forty per cent. of the total project costs,” Schedule I of the NREG Act limits the expenditure on material costs to less than 40 per cent.

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