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Centre delaying payments for rural job scheme: Mamata

Centre delaying payments for rural job scheme: Mamata

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the scopes of 100 days work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) are gradually shrinking due to some restrictions imposed by the Centre.

Banerjee during her speech in the Assembly said the opportunities in 100 days work have been reducing in the state due to the Center's apathy. She also accused the Narendra Modi government of intentionally delaying the payments under the MGNREGA.

She pointed out that the Bengal government has already converged Panchayats and Rural Development department with various other departments like Irrigation and Waterways, Forest, Fisheries and Environment to provide some momentum to the 100 days work in the state and also to ensure that more number of people are brought under the scheme. "The Centre has made some restrictions in some areas as a result of which the scopes of 100 days work have narrowed down in the state. They have a tendency to reduce the opportunities in 100 days work. The people are facing difficulties as there is a delay in the release of funds by the Centre. We have urged the Centre on a number of occasions to clear the dues on time," the Chief Minister said.

She further added: "We have done a convergence between the Panchayats and Rural development department and other departments like Irrigation and Waterways, Forest, Fisheries and Environment in such a manner that more number of people get opportunity. More jobs will be created if the Forest department deploys people under the 100 days work or the Fisheries department provides fingerlings to those who dig up ponds under the 'Jal Dharo, Jal Bharo' scheme. We have discussed it during the administrative review meeting on how 100 days work can be implemented through the involvement of various Self-Help Groups."

Banerjee once again reminded the House that the Bengal government has secured first position in the implementation of the 100 days work scheme in the country and also the same position for creating employment. In the construction of rural roads Bengal has topped the list.

During a question-answer session, Panchayats minister Subrata Mukherjee in the Assembly said around 33.83 man-days were created by his department in 2018-19 while in the current financial year, 5.73 crore man-days have already been created so far under the MGNREGA.

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