Millennium Post

Rs 41,371 cr spent on MGNREGA in 2015-16, highest ever

Citing exemplary growth in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme, the government has said that, “the year 2015-16 has registered expenditure to the tune of Rs 41, 371 crore which is the highest expenditure under the programme since inception.”

Joint Secretary MGNREGA, Aparajita Sarangi explained, “This has allowed for the highest employment generation over the past three years and the best achievement on key parameters over the last three years such as works taken up, women participation (55%) and 93% of payments through electronic fund management system.”

Responding to reports of Rs 8,000 crore unpaid wages to MGNREGA workers this year, Union Minister for Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation told Millennium Post : “This is a fact, but this is not the only year that this has happened. Last year this amount was above  Rs 5500 crore, while the year before that it was  Rs 6,000. This year it is touching Rs 8000 because  we have covered the highest in  per person-days generation, that is 230 crore person-days which is a huge record in itself.”

“In the FY 2015-16, Employment provided per household is 48 days which is the highest in the last six years. Person-days generation is also highest in the last three years i.e.  Rs 227 crore so far. 63% of the total expenditure on agriculture and agriculture allied works is the highest expenditure in the sector so far. The number of works taken up this year is 116 lakh with focus on Natural Resource Management (NRM) and water conservation,” added Sarangi.

She elucidated, “Being a drought year, the ministry expanded the entitlement from 100 to 150 days of work to households in drought affected regions of ten states. 24.41 lakh households in these regions have availed this opportunity and completed more than 100 days of work. At the national level 43.6 lakh number of households have completed 100 days so far.”

This year  Rs 11,030 crore is being sanctioned by the ministry within a week, to clear all wage liabilities.

“Also MGNREGA workers will be trained as barefoot technicians to assist with work execution and reduce delays in measurements and wage payments. 18 lakh households/youths completing 100 days of employment in the last 2 years will be imparted skill training through Project LIFE (Livelihoods in full Employment).  While pilot training has started for 120 trainees in FY 2015-16, 4200 MGNREGA workers will be trained as BFTs in 134 batches in FY 2016-17,” she added.

“Under DBT, so far 6.26 crore workers Aadhaar numbers have been seeded in the programme database out of total 10.4 crore active workers. The ministry is also taking steps to make Aadhaar based payments to workers. As of now 2.36 crore workers have been converted to Aadhaar based payments,” added the official.
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