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Sunday, September 29, 2013

MNREGA beneficiaries to be compensated for delay in payment

NEW DELHI: The Rural Development Ministry has amended a key schedule of the ambitious MNREGA under which they will be guaranteed compensation in case oftechnical delays in payment of wages. 

Regretting that delays have been reported from all states despite clear provisions, the Ministry brought out the amendments stipulating that "if the payment is not made within 15 days of closure of the Muster Roll, compensation at the rate of 25 to 50 per cent of the wage (depending on the number of days) will be given." 

In a letter to all the chief ministers, Rural Development Minister Jairam Rameshsaid,:"the MIS (Management Information System) and field reports suggest serious delays." and according to MIS, wages amounting Rs 2,700 crore (25 per cent of the total wage payments across the country) have been delayed over 15 days." 

The new amendments make it clear that states should fix responsibility of functionaries and time limit for each stage of the wage payment process. 

"In case of delay at any step, the compensation amount will be recovered from the responsible functionary/agency," it says. 

Ramesh said that the entire process will be closely monitored through MIS. The MIS will also automatically generate the compensation due in case of delays at any stage. 

"Streamlining wage payments is the most fundamental and vital step to guaranteeing MNREGA's entitlements to its beneficiaries. I hope you will take immediate measures to implement the above provisions," Ramesh said in his letter to chief ministers. 

He also assured them that the Ministry would address the difficulties, if any, in implementing the new system.

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