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Jairam’s sos to PC: Release Rs 7,600 crore more for MNREGA, PMGSY

On Wednesday, Ramesh, through an official letter to the union finance minister, mentioned that he fully appreciate your concerns regarding the need for fiscal consolidation and optimum utilisation of the limited resources available with the government’.

‘Even though it has proved difficult, we will ensure that the expenditure under the two flagship schemes of Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY) and National Rural Linelihood Mission (NRLM) remain within the approved reallocation,’ he said.

On the context of fund allocation for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), which is facing severe resource crunch because the budget estimate figures were reduced steeply from Rs 21,700 crore to Rs 9700 crore, he said: ‘If additional funds are not made available immediately for PMGSY, the field mobilsation for construction and upgradation of rural roads, particularly in the poorer and backward regions would be adversely impacted and this would have a long-term effect on the GDP. As you are aware the next five-six months are the peak working season for PMGSY.’

Having an argument through his letter over Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA), the rural development minister said: ‘The coming three months are the peak working season for this scheme and all the states are coming forward with huge demands for additional funds while the fund with the department is meager Rs 1,000 crore. We are demanding an additional Rs 2,000 crore keeping in view the resource constraints.’

Ramesh further wrote, ‘I would like to assure that the ministry is fully geared to optimally utilise the available funds in the next few months.  It is therefore critical that in order to maintain the physical targets mandated for this department, the budget estimates in respect of MGNREGA be restored and an additional amount of Rs 5,600 crore be made available for PMGSY.’

Ramesh, expressing his annoyance, said: ‘The uncertainty on the funds position is hampering the implementation of both MGNREGA and PMGSY and the blame is falling on the UPA government.’
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