Door-step banking a boon for NREGA workers

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Summary'Earlier, an NREGA labourer had to wait for 15 to 20 days to receive the payment, but now he gets his dues as soon as his work is finished.'

Door-step banking, made possible by the introduction of electronic fund management system, has enabled faster payment of NREGA wages to workers in Tripura's rural areas.

Earlier, an NREGA labourer had to wait for 15 to 20 days to receive the payment, but now he gets his dues as soon as his work is finished, state Rural Development Minister Jiten Chowdhury said.

"Different bank executives during the introduction of the electronic fund management system (EFMS) had assured that they would open micro-ATMS before all Gaon Panchayat so that the NREGA workers could withdraw their money at any time," Chowdhury said.

Micro-ATM is a device carried by "Business Correspondents", appointed by banks, which can identify the beneficiary by using biometrics like rubbing of fingers on the device if his credentials are inserted in the device.

Incidentally, Tripura earned the Excellence Award for implementation of MGNREGA In 2008-09.

Chowdhury claimed that under the scheme Tripura government provided 86 man-days per person in one year even as the rate of giving jobs in other states on an average is 54 days.

The minister said at least 22 crore job cards for MGNREGA were supposed to be issued in the country whereas in reality only 12 crore cards were issued.

The result of it is that the number of rural people were increasing day by day.

Tripura is the only state where more than 90 per cent of the population are covered by the Aadhar scheme. The Tripura government first introduced Aadhar-enabled payment system in old age pension on October 18, 2012 at Borakha village in West Tripura district.

Dinesh Mushahary, chairman of the Tripura Gramin Bank, said that Tripura was one among a few states taking banking facilities to the doorsteps of the masses.

Mushahary said his bank had appointed 185 "Business Correspondent Agents" in different parts of the state for taking banking services to the door step.

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