Release Rs 676-Cr MGNREGA Funds: Naveen To Tomar

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Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote to Union
Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, requesting him to
release Rs 676.57 crore to meet Odisha’s requirement of funds under MGNREGA
till December 2017.

In his letter, the Chief Minister said, “The Labour budget of the
state under MGNREGS for 2017-18 agreed to by the
Ministry of Rural Development is 900 lakh person days with a financial
implication of Rs 2,798.37 crore. Up to December 2017, the approved
Labour budget is Rs 678.13 lakh person days for Rs 2108.51 crore.
Against this, the central share is Rs 1909.60 crore. Besides, there
was committed liability of Rs Rs 380.59 crore pertaining to 2016-17. In all, Rs 2290.19 crore was supposed to be released by Government of India to the state government by the end of December, 2017.”

According to Naveen, the Centre has released only Rs 1613.62 crore (including pending liability) till date. Thus, there is shortfall of Rs 676.57 crore. In the meanwhile, FTOs of Rs 130.53 crore are pending with Ne-FMS to be credited to the accounts of MGNREGA workers.”

“The state government has declared 5958 villages under 1097 gram
panchayats of 70 blocks in 15 districts as drought affected. Yet
labourers are not evincing interest in availing MGNREGS work due to
non-receipt of wages on time, which may cause distress migration. On
its part, the state government has ensured that all FTOs are generated
on time without any delay,” the CM said.

The state government has created a corpus of Rs 300 crore to meet any
eventuality due to non-availability of the fund under Ne-FMS, so that the
wage earners get their wages within the stipulated time period. Since
Ministry of Rural Development has not finalized the modalities for
release and recoupment of the corpus fund, the government is not able
to utilize this fund to meet the exigency. A request to allow the
state government to utilize the corpus fund had been sent to the
Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department DO letter No.
9468, dated 16.10.2017, Naveen added, reiterating that the modalities
for release and recoupment of the fund may be finalized and
communicated to the state at the earliest to ensure timely payment of
wages.

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