85% MNREGS wages paid in time this fiscal: Rural ministry

PTI

File photo: Rural labourers working at a site.

File photo: Rural labourers working at a site.

The Center is taking steps to ensure timely payment of wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), out of which 85 per cent of wages have already been paid this fiscal, an official statement said.

According to the statement released by the rural development ministry yesterday, there are no preconditions, including linking of Aadhaar to bank accounts or denial of work to households without toilets, for getting employment under the scheme.

In line with the directives of the Supreme Court, the ministry said it was taking all steps to ensure timely payment of wages as well as payment of compensation for delay in paying of wages.

The ministry has been constantly following up with top officials of banks, the department of posts and the department of financial services to ensure credit of wages into the accounts of the workers within 24 hours of release.

“Due to constant efforts, the situation has improved considerably. Eighty-five per cent of the wages have been paid on time so far in this financial year,” Rural Development secretary Amarjeet Sinha said.

The ministry said that as on date, out of the Rs 80.58 crore of approved delay compensation, Rs 51.40 crore have already been paid because of the constant engagement with the states.

So far, Rs 40,480 crore have been released in this financial year which is around Rs 4,500 crore more than the release during the corresponding period of the last fiscal, it said.

A committee has also been constituted for revisiting the existing wage rate — Consumer Price Index- Agriculture Labourers (CPI-AL) for the MNREGA workers headed by Nagesh Singh, Additional Secretary, Department of Rural Development.

The committee has submitted its report recommending the change in the indexation of wages from CPI-AL to CPI Rural.

PTI