Millennium Post

MGNREGA’s Rs 5,000 crore in ‘wait-list’ ruffles feathers

MGNREGA’s Rs 5,000 crore in ‘wait-list’ ruffles feathers
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley promised that Rs 5,000 crore more would be allocated to it if his ministry mops up additional resources, a move that has been slammed by activists, who said the NDA government has started a new trend of “fund-wait list”.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the first complete budget of the Modi government allocated Rs 34,699 crore for the rural job scheme, which is just Rs 600 crore up from the last year’s Rs 34,100 crore budgetary allocation.

Criticising the budgetary allocation, social activist Nikhil Dey told Millennium Post that the Modi government has ditched the poor people of the country by increasing a mere Rs 600 core in the budget for the rural employment scheme. “It’s against the law of the land as government has put the fund allocation in waiting list. The legislation clearly mentions that allocation of funds for rural job scheme should be on the basis of the demand raised by the states,” said Dey.

Dubbing the announcement to allocate Rs 5,000 crore additional fund for the populist job scheme as an eyewash, noted social activist Aruna Roy said: “There is nothing to cheer as the budget is totally anti-poor and anti-farmer. The Modi government, which was voted to power by poor in 2014, has stated playing into the hands of the corporate.”

Slamming the Finance Minister for kick-starting a new trend of “fund wait-list”, Roy said: “This move of the government is aimed at killing the rural job scheme as when states would demand money to pay wages of MGNREGA workers, the Modi government will happily say that they have not yet collected sufficient tax. So, the demanded amount would not be given to them.”

Jaitley in his budget speech said, “I hope to garner some additional resources during the year from tax buoyancy. If I am successful, then over and above the budgetary allocation, I will endeavour to enhance allocations to MGNREGA by Rs 5,000 crore.”
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