January 15, 2019 4:40:26 am
Around 250 eminent people, including 90 Members of Parliament and 160 activists and academics, have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to “make the strengthening of MGNREGA an urgent priority” of his government.
The letter is the outcome of a meeting held this month between MPs and civil society activists where the issue of fund crunch in the employment guarantee scheme was discussed.
Stating how the MGNREGA is being “systematically undermined” by the Narendra Modi government despite public statements promising job creation, the letter, states, “Illegal restrictions on its budget allocation, severe payment delays and low wages are crippling the programme and depriving people in distress of one of their most important legally supported structures. Therefore we urge you to make the strengthening of MGNREGA an urgent priority of your government and formally include it as part of the set of measures being considered to deal with the current rural and agrarian crisis.”
It also asks that MGNREGA funds be both adequate and timely and that MGNREGA wages not be less that statutory minimum wage of the state. The demands in the letter include proper calculation of delayed payment compensation, increasing MGNREGA legal entitlement in all drought notified districts to 200 days from the existing 150 days, and ensuring that every gram panchayat has at least one labour intensive public work available at all times. ENS
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