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Post offices not vulnerable to middlemen under MNREGA: Birender Singh

“No,” Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said to a question in this regard but said “some instances of operation of middlemen in payment of wages through post offices have been reported”.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister said the government proposes to address these issues by using biometric authentication system as in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Jharkhand.
He said Post Offices are preferred in some states due to their better reach in the rural areas.

At present, there are only 68,000 bank branches in the rural and semi-urban areas of the country catering to over six lakh villages in the 2.47 lakh Gram Panchayats where MNREGA is operational, the Minister said. “Consequently, there are significant number of Gram Panchayats which do not have bank branches within 5 km radius. Efforts are made to improve the reach of the Banks in the rural areas using the Banking Correspondent model under the PM Jan Dhan Yojana,” Singh said.

Replying to another question, the Minister said as of now, no decision has been taken to change the wage material ratio under MNREGA.
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