The Centre has sanctioned Rs 33,300 crore under the MGNREGA in the current financial year so far to liquidate all outstanding dues of previous years and to meet wage expenditure till June, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Wednesday.
Interacting with rural development ministers from various states via video conferencing, Tomar said their focus should be on water conservation, groundwater recharge and irrigation works. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 33,300 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), of which Rs 20,624 crore has been released to liquidate all outstanding dues of previous years towards wages and material, he said.
This sanctioned amount is sufficient to meet expenses under the scheme till June 2020, the Rural Development Ministry said in an official statement.
Assuring the states and UTs that sufficient financial resources are available for different rural development programmes, Tomar said the Centre has already released Rs 36,400 crore in the current financial year to them. Noting that the challenge posed by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is very serious, Tomar urged the states to convert this challenge into an opportunity for development and strengthening of rural infrastructure and creation of employment opportunities.