The Narendra Modi government is likely to release more funds than allocated under the MGNREGA scheme of 2017-2018.
The Narendra Modi government is likely to release more funds than allocated under the MGNREGA scheme of 2017-2018. According to Indian Express, the government has indicated that even though 88 per cent of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act funds has been made available by the end of the first half of the year, the authorities are in the process of securing more funds for ‘additional requirements’. “There is no paucity of funds for MGNREGA at this juncture. However, the rural ministry has sought additional funds from the Ministry of Finance for meeting additional requirements,” said a press statement issued by the Ministry of Rural Development.
According to Indian Express, Modi government in all probability will transmit another Rupees 10,000-12,000 crore in the MGNREGA scheme. The latest addition is likely to be secured through supplementary demand for funds for the ongoing fiscal year. “The Finance Ministry has indicated that they will be willing to allot another Rs 10,000-12,000 crore to the scheme. We will use our internal funds to infuse another Rs 1,000-Rs 1,500 crore into the scheme,” said an official aware of the financial status of the scheme in the current fiscal.
The government’s flagship scheme has been allocated Rupees 48,000 crore for this year’s financial budget, highest claimed by the government in the scheme’s decade-long history. The grants for ‘additional requirements’ sought by the government will be over and above the allocated funds. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting MGNREGA scheme in this year’s budget allocation said, ‘’The budget provision of Rs 38,500 crore under MGNREGA in 2016-17 has been increased to Rs 48,000 crore in 2017-18. This is the highest ever allocation for MGNREGA.’’
Over Rs 46,810 crore has been available by the government, according to the latest financial reports. Already 87 per cent of the funds available, i.e, Rupees 40,725 crore has been utilised. The rural development ministry, on its part, has released about Rs 39,837 crore from its total allocation of Rs 48,000 crore. The central government has over Rs 8,000 crore in its possession. This suggests that accumulated amount of Rupees 14,000 crore – Rupees 6,000 crore (government funds) added with rupees 8,000 crore (ministry funds) has been made available for the states. The remaining funds will provide enough time for the government to continue implementing the MGNREGA scheme till further funds have been allocated.