As the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) completed 10 years, the NDA government took credit for bringing about a “transformation” in the rural job guarantee scheme. Taking potshots at the UPA, the Centre said that the scheme was in a “pitiable” state under UPA because of frequent curtailing of funds.
Delivering his keynote address at the event to mark the 10th anniversary of the scheme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley claimed that MNREGA received a significant increase in fund allocation in PM Modi’s government.
The actual spending under the scheme in the fiscal year ending March 31 “would be highest”, announced Jaitley at MGNREGA Sammelan 2016.
“2015-16 will be the first year when there would be no cut in funds allocated for development works. I think this would be the first year when the Rs 34,000-35,000 crore which was allocated have not only been spent fully, but also some more resources could be given to MGNREGA”.
Jaitley further attacked the UPA by saying that the Congress government spent less money on the scheme than the actual budgeted amount. He added that there was not a single year in the recent past when budget allocations were not cut.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was quick to react to Finance Minster’s remarks.
“After calling NREGA ‘living monument of INC failure’ Govt now hails it as cause of ‘nat pride & celebration’! Shining eg of Modiji’s pol wisdom”, Gandhi tweeted taking a dig at PM Modi.
In his tweet, Gandhi was referring to what PM Modi had said about UPA’s flagship scheme during the Budget Session last year.
“Do you think, I will put an end to the scheme, my political wisdom does not allow me to do it. This is a living monument of your failure to tackle poverty in 60 years. With song and dance and drum beat, I will continue with the scheme,” PM Modi had said in Febuary last 2014.
Gandhi is in Bandlapalli village of Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to mark the completion of ten years of UPA’s flagship rural job guarantee scheme which was launched from there by former PM Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi in February 2006.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel also took to twitter hailing the UPA scheme as the “most transformative govt scheme in Independent India”.
MGNREA has shown the world that how a “Govt can create jobs where pvt sector can’t,” he said in a series of tweets.
MGNREGA provides 100 days of work in one year and is aimed to reduce migration of the rural poor by giving them with work and wages in their local area.
(With inputs from PTI)