The state government on Friday released a total of Rs 160 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh had given the assurance to release the fund to the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI).
The state government had recently released MGNREGS funds amounting to Rs 83.66 crore in order to provide aid to daily wagers and job card holders under the scheme. Further, with the release of another Rs 160 crore on Friday, minister Biswajit appealed to all concerned to ensure that the funds reach the job card holders.
“When the PRI representatives started holding agitations, they were given assurance that their demands would be fulfilled. The release of Rs 160 crore today, after the recent release of Rs 83.66 crore, is a part of turning that assurance into reality,” he said.
For further release of funds which have been sanctioned, file processing has begun so that encashment permission may be given to the Finance department without further delay, he added.
The amount released today is meant for wages component and material component, he mentioned.
Expressing hope that the amount sanctioned today will help mitigate the sufferings of the people who have been hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic, minister Biswajit urged the District Programme Co-ordinators (DPCs) and other officials concerned to ensure that the money reaches the job card holders through appropriate channels.
As the funds are released, they must be issued by balancing the ratio of Wages component and Material component equally as per the rules, he said. If the ratio is found to exist in unequal terms, appropriate action will be taken up against the erring officials, he warned.
When the amount of Rs 83.66 crore was released, it was found that only the Material Component was issued by withholding the Wages component, he further said, adding that instruction has been given to all concerned to adjust and make up the imbalance that was found earlier.
He expressed his appreciation to the PRI representatives for their trust and support given to the efforts of the government during these hard times. He assured that the state government is taking up all the necessary work to release the remaining funds shortly, and appealed to the PRI representatives for their cooperation.
Although there is a lockdown and curfew, the funds were successfully released in a speedy manner to assist the public by the sincere efforts of the officials of the RD and PR department, he said.
Assuring that the funds, which were sanctioned earlier, will be released one after another, he expressed hope that the money will be a huge help as it is difficult to find work, owing to the Covid situation.
The funds released by the government is meant to pay the job card holders for the work days which they have covered, he pointed out. “They have earned it and those who have not received the fund may contact the authority concerned,” he added.