Rural employment scheme MNREGA is facing shortage of funds despite the highest ever budgetary allocation to the programme this year, and the Rural Development Ministry is now seeking an additional Rs 10,000 crore for its smooth functioning.
“In the budget about Rs 43,499 crore was allocated for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) this year, out of which Rs 36,134 has been released so far to the states,” a source said The Rural Development Ministry has also cleared about 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, the source added.
According to sources, the demand for work is higher this year as there are some regions which are still drought affected.
MNREGA, which was the 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.
Congress has alleged that the scheme was being stifled by the NDA government, which denied the charge.
MNREGA provides a supplementary means of livelihood for the rural people, primarily during the lean periods and is not a substitute for all other employment opportunities.
The Centre has also announced the additional employment over and above 100 days per household to up to 150 days in notified drought affected districts in various states of the country.
Assets created under MGNREGA include works related to natural resource management that include water conservation, land development, irrigation, etc.
Besides these, dams, irrigational channels, check dams, ponds, wells anaganwadi assets were also constructed under this scheme.