TMC protests rural job cash squeeze
Trinamul Congress MPs in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday protested the Centre’s decision to stop the release of funds under the MGNREGA to Bengal, holding up wages for workers and turning the scheme defunct.
During Question Hour, party leader Jawhar Sircar said not a single penny had been released to the state this fiscal under the 100-day job guarantee scheme and wanted to know the reason behind the “special favour”.
In a written reply, rural development minister Giriraj Singh furnished data that showed the ministry of rural development released Rs 98,388 crore, including Rs 7,546 crore to Bengal, in 2021-22 towards the payment of wages under the MGNREGA. Between April 1 and December 21 this year, the MoRD released Rs 62,924 crore to the states but Bengal got nothing.
“According to the provision of the scheme, if the state government is not fully successful in discharging its responsibility, then the government of India has the right to issue appropriate guidelines as well as stop the release of funds.
Accordingly, funds have not been given to only one state under the MGNREGA scheme in the current financial year 2022-23,” Singh said in the written reply. Responding to Sircar’s supplementary question on the “special favour” to Bengal, minister of state for rural development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said the central team sent to probe complaints of irregularities in the implementation of the scheme in Bengal had pointed out violations.
The state was asked to send an action taken report but the directives were not complied with, she added.