Imphal, November 04 2017: Whereas neighbouring Nagaland has obtained MGNREGS fund of Rs 819.42 crore in five instalments during the current fiscal year, Manipur remains complacent with just Rs 79.90 crore sanctioned in two instalments.
Even this comparatively small amount could not be utilised fully.
As such, no one has any idea about when the next instalment would be sanctioned .
The State’s inability to obtain more than Rs 79.90 crore compared to Nagaland’s Rs 819.42 crore is a serious blow to the rural people of the State which has a total population of around 27.21 lakh as against Nagaland’s 10.19 lakh .
Under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) was launched for the first time in 200 backward districts of the country in 2006 .
Tamenglong was among the 200 districts from across the country and NREGS (MGNREGS) was implemented in the district since 2006-07 .
Chandel and Churachandpur districts were brought under the scheme in the financial year 2007-08.The scheme encompassed all the remaining districts of the State from April 1, 2008 .
The State’s total number of NREGS job card holders is 5.44 lakhs.
Notably, NREGS is funded 90 per cent by the Centre and the remaining 10 per cent by the State Government .
Since the scheme was launched in the State, 52761 different works were taken up and 46094 works (87 per cent) have been completed .
Some of the works taken up under NREGS relate to water conservation and water harvesting.
They also include construction of irrigation canals, land development, repairing of community ponds, (repairing of IVRs, construction of fish farms, construction of playgrounds, construction of cattle sheds, construction of Anganwadi Centres, construction of latrines for private individuals, schools and Anganwadi Centres etc .
As per a report of the Ministry of Rural Development, Manipur has obtained Rs 79.90 crore under NREGS during the current fiscal year as compared to Nagaland’s Rs 819.42 crore, Meghalaya’s 503.30 crore and Mizoram’s 168 crore .
The scheme allows States to claim and obtain funds according to requirements.
While Rs 60.87 crore was sanctioned on April 13, the second instalment of Rs 19 crore was sanctioned on May 25 this year .
The State has NREGS fund of around Rs 120 crore taking into account Rs 79.90 crore sanctioned this financial year and a certain amount that already existed in the State’s account .
But the State has been able to utilise only Rs 28.51 crore so far which is just 23.76 per cent of the total sanctioned amount .
As per the guidelines of the scheme, each job card holder is entitled to daily wage of Rs 204 and the State can claim Rs 1800 crore from the Ministry during the current financial year 2017-18, informed a source .
It is time to start preparation of labour budget for claiming necessary fund for the next fiscal 2018-19.As per norms, holding of Gram Sabha meetings for preparing labour budget should have started from October 2 and special Gram Sabha meeting for granting approval to the Gram Panchayat level annual action plan should be held between October 3 and November 30 .
Gram Panchayat level plan should be submitted to the block Panchayat by December 5 .
However, as of now there is no sign of starting preparation of labour budget.
This can partly be attributed to the fact that the State’s Panchayat election concluded only recently, and partly to the State Government’s lackadaisical attitude, said the source .
The last date for submission of labour budget to the Central Government is February 15 next year.
Labour budgets thus submitted by States would be finalised by the Ministry’s empowered committee by February 20 .
According to data available at the MIS, the total amount which the Government must pay as compensation for its inability to distribute NREGS wages is Rs 8,96,108 .
Altogether 56 per cent (3,02,533 out of 5,41,384) of the State’s NREGS job card holders have their Aadhar numbers seeded while 3 per cent of them have Aadhar-based payment facility .
With a view to ensure effective monitoring of works executed under NREGS, the Ministry has introduced a geo-tagging system under which all the works would be photographed in three phases; before the work begins, after the work has begun and finally after the work has been completed .
However, the most fundamental element of Ombudsman who would monitor all aspects of NREGS is conspicuously absent in the State, added the source.
Source: The Sangai Express