Additional funds are required for providing wages under rural employment scheme MNREGA in the coming days, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said today.
The Centre’s flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is facing liquidity crunch and requires funds despite the highest ever budgetary allocation to the programme this year.
“Rs 38,500 crore was allocated for MNREGA in the budget, which is the highest ever allocation for the rural employment guarantee scheme. In addition to that, Rs 5,000 was given in the first supplementary,” Tomar said here.
“But, in the coming days we need additional funds as works for water conservation are being carried out at large scale under MNREGA,” he said.
The Centre has cleared around Rs 12,581 crore outstanding of the last year. For smooth operations of the programme this year, the ministry has sought additional Rs 10,000 crore over and above the budgetary allocation, a source said.
According to sources, the demand for work is higher this year as some regions are still drought-affected.
MNREGA, which is a flagship scheme introduced under the previous Congress-led UPA government, is a demand-driven wage employment programme. Not less than 100 days of employment are provided to registered workers upon receipt of their demand.
It provides a supplementary means of livelihood for rural people, primarily during lean periods and is not a substitute for all other employment opportunities.
Congress has alleged that the scheme was being stifled by the NDA government, which has denied the charge.
The Centre has announced additional employment over and above 100 days per household up to 150 days in notified drought-affected districts in various states.
Assets created under MGNREGA include, works related to natural resource management like water conservation, land development, irrigation. Besides these, dams, irrigation channels, check dams, ponds, wells, anganwadi assets are also constructed under this scheme.