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Centre directs states to ensure timely wages under MGNREGA

PTI 24 Jun 2014, 21:12:28 PM IST
New Delhi: Taking serious note of delays in the disbursement of wages under MGNREGA, the Centre today asked state governments to notify the ‘rules' and implement the system of compensation to address the issue.

Citing a provision in the MGNREGA Act, the Centre said that “the disbursement of wages shall be made on a weekly basis or, in any case, not later than a fortnight after the date on which the work was done.” The Rural Development Ministry has said it will issue an advisory for the states in this regard.

“State governments have to notify the ‘Rules' and implement the system of compensation for delay in wage payment,” the ministry said.

The data on compensation for delay in payment of wages will be calculated from the date of the notification of the rules, it added.

The Centre has also asked the states to conduct a monthly review of delays occurring in the payment of wages.

Delay in closure of Muster Rolls (MR) and its computerisation, inadequate staff for measuring the work done under the scheme, etc. have been identified as some of the factors behind the delay in wage payments.

To address the issue, the ministry has suggested that blocks be identified on the criteria of low or zero internet connectivity and non-existence of banks/post offices for cash payment.

However, the states have opposed the idea of cash payments since it involves issues of security.

The ministry had initiated several steps, including Electronic Fund Management System (eFMS), in states like Odisha, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tripura and Rajasthan to directly pay wages into beneficiary accounts using Core Banking System.

The eFMS was introduced to ensure capture of real-time transactions and eliminate delays and leakage.