Half the year is over, but Punjab is quite far from reaching its annual target of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) works. The state has utilised 39 per cent of the total grant earmarked for this financial year, but only 6 per cent of the total works could be completed and 94 per cent works are still under progress.
The target of the state for the first six months was to utilise grants worth Rs. 776 crore, of which it utilised Rs. 583 crore — which means that the state is still behind by 25 per cent of its half yearly target.
Till date, the state has generated 179 lakh person-days in the past six months.
A total 1.13 lakh works have been taken up under NREGS in the state, of which 6,812 have been completed.
There are only 305 gram panchyats (GPs) of a total 13,326 GPs in the state where not a single penny was spent.
Till Tuesday, the state could utilise funds worth Rs. 583.06 crore against the Rs. 1,500 crore yearly target for 2020-21 — nearly 39 per cent of the total budget.
The government has fixed targets for every district and these districts have to meet those in this financial year only to utilise the entire fund.
Out of 22 districts, 11 could complete 52-68 per cent of the half yearly target while these districts are quite behind their annual target.
Only one district — Fatehgarh Sahib — has achieved more than 100 per cent of its half-yearly target by utilising 113 per cent grant marked for it. The district has utilised Rs. 41.55 crore against its yearly target of Rs. 71 crore while its half yearly target was Rs. 36.75 crore.
There are five districts which have completed more than 90 per cent of its half-yearly target including Gurdaspur, Rupnagar, Mukatsar, Fazilka and Ferozepur districts, which have completed 99.8, 99.1, 95.1, 93.5 and 91.1 per cent of their half-yearly target, respectively.
The state department of rural development and panchayat said that under NREGS, a 60:40 ratio should be maintained for money to be spent on wages and material respectively.
Out of total expenditure to date, wages worth Rs. 461.76 crore have been paid to MGNREGA workers, which comes to 80 per cent of the total expenditure to date and nearly 20 per cent was spent on material.
Most of the works are being done under Natural Resource Management (NRM).
Only 35 per cent works are taken up under category ‘B’, which included creating community or individual assets, while 58 per cent works are being done under agriculture and allied works.
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