Wages hit, Orissa seeks NREGS funds

In the current financial year, Orissa received Rs 726.92 crore from Centre.

Bhubaneswar | Published: March 17, 2014 2:12:49 am

Citing scarcity of funds for stoppage of wages of workers under the NREGS since March 3, Orissa has requested the Rural Development Ministry to release Rs 465 crore.

In a letter to rural development secretary L C Goyal, Orissa chief secretary J K Mohapatra said there is disruption in implementation of scheme due to acute shortage of funds.

In the current financial year, Orissa received Rs 726.92 crore from Centre. The state government released its share of Rs 80.76 cr. In addition, the state released an advance of Rs 202.5 crore from the state exchequer, which includes an advance of Rs 41.26 crore released during 2012-13.

Mohapatra, in his letter, stated that in spite of requests since November 2013, in January 2014 the state received only Rs 52 crore.

January to March is peak working season in Orissa but acute scarcity of funds resulted in stoppage of payment of wages since March 3.  This necessitated payment of compensation for the delay as well as unemployment allowance. The state government will not be responsible for payment of unemployment/delayed payment allowance under the scheme, he said.

“In such a critical situation, the state govt tried its best to manage the crisis by releasing advances from its exchequer. But there is a limit to state intervention. In spite of intervention of the state government to sail through the situation, it is getting difficult to meet wage demands because of non-availability of funds,” the chief secretary said, seeking for Rs 465 crore from the Centre.

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