Parliamentary committee demands increase in wages in MNREGA, expresses concern over fund cut. Parliamentary committee demands increase in wages in MNREGA, expressed concern over reduction in allocation


a committee of parliament Describing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGA) as a ray of hope for the unemployed in times of crisis, has expressed concern over the fact that the budget estimates of MNREGA in the year 2023-24 are higher than the revised estimates for the year 2022-23. 29,400 crore has been cut. The committee has also recommended a proper assessment of the current demand for work under MGNREGA. Along with this, it has also been suggested to increase the wages on the basis of the current market rate. This was stated in the report of the Standing Committee on Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, headed by DMK MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, tabled in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

ray of hope in times of crisis

It has been said in the report that the role and importance of MNREGA was clearly visible in the Corona period when it became a ray of hope for the needy people in times of crisis. The importance of this scheme is evident from the huge increase in the revised estimate level from Rs 61,500 crore to Rs 1,11,500 crore and Rs 73,000 crore to Rs 99,117 crore in the years 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively. During the current financial year 2022-23 also, the amount for MGNREGA has been increased from the budget estimate of Rs 73,000 crore to Rs 89,400 crore at the revised estimate level. According to the report, an allocation of Rs 60,000 crore has been made by the Department of Rural Development for the financial year 2023-24 at the initial stage itself against the proposed demand of Rs 98,000 crore for MGNREGA. The committee has not been able to understand the justification for the reduction in allocation under MGNREGA, the report said.

Need to increase allocation on MNREGA

It added that since adequate budgetary allocation is necessary for effective implementation of the scheme, the committee is of the firm view that the matter of curtailment of funds should be reconsidered. The Committee noted that it is an established practice that MGNREGA is a demand driven scheme and funds can be increased at RE stage, however, the Ministry should clarify how the Department of Rural Development has implemented MGNREGA at the proposal stage. Calculated a demand of Rs 98,000 crore.

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