Kiran Choudhry, Leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (CLP), has accused the BJP Government, led by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal Khattar, of diluting and derailing the UPA’s flagship scheme Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) by not allocating adequate funds for the works to be taken up under the scheme. She demanded regularization of the MGNERGA workers in the state who are agitating to press their demands.In a statement issued here today on eve of completion of 10 years of MGNREGA, the former Excise and Taxation Minister said that former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi had in 2006 launched the UPA's flagship scheme to provide livelihood security to millions of poor in the villages across the country. The scheme was later rechristened after Mahatma Gandhi.
She said that the NDA Government planned to dilute the scheme by changing the labour-material ratio from 60:40 to 51:49 in 2014. It meant that if Rs 100 is spent on a work, Rs 51 will be spent on wages and Rs 49 on the material required for construction against Rs 60 on wages and Rs 40 on material. But vehement opposition mounted by the Congress stalled the move.Now, the Haryana Government is seeking to dilute and derail the scheme by not allocating adequate funds which is making the workers whose sole livelihood rests on earnings from the scheme, suffer, and come out on the streets. Worse still, corruption has seeped into the scheme, she added.
The MGNREGA workers in Bhiwani and Mahendergarh districts have not been paid wages for the last few months and have also not been given any work. Constituting prime belt in the state, the two districts do not have requisite number of officers. This reflects sheer laxity on the part of the BJP Government which has failed to provide adequate staff for efficient implementation of the scheme there, Mrs Choudhry added.Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPOs) are not available in Bhiwani and Mahendergarh districts. Because of the shortage of staff, the scheme is hampered. It is in the interest of poor workers that BDPOs are posted in these two districts so that the workers are able to get their wages regularly and on time. “I have written several letters to the Chief Minister to bring it to his notice the problems faced by the MGNREGA workers and the staff shortage but nothing has been done in this regard,” she stated.