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SC to Centre: Provide relief to drought-hit states immediately

The court underlined that as per government’s own figures, average workdays under MGNREGA is 48 days whereas the statute says it should be 100 days.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 7, 2016 2:06:18 am
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The Supreme Court Wednesday urged the Centre to immediately provide relief to drought-hit states, pointing out that soaring temperature this summer would worsen the situation.

A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur also expressed its displeasure over not releasing adequate funds to the states under rural employment scheme (MGNREGA) and asked the Centre to furnish expenditure details of drought-hit states.

“If you are not releasing the funds, then no one will like to work. States will say they have no funds, so they can’t pay anyone for MGNREGA work. No state will make any commitment to the people… Relief has to be given immediately and not after one year. Temperature is soaring at 45 degree celsius, there is no drinking water, nothing is there. You have to do some thing and provide relief on time,” the bench said.

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The court underlined that as per government’s own figures, average workdays under MGNREGA is 48 days whereas the statute says it should be 100 days.

“The argument holds substance that since you (Centre) are not releasing the funds, states are not willing to allocate works to people under MGNREGA and hence the average workdays will fall,” it observed while noting that 10 states have now been declared as drought-affected.

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