BJD, BJP indulge in war of words over MGNREGS wages

Bhubaneswar: Several beneficiaries in Odisha are waiting since years to get their wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). Though there is a provision under the rural job scheme for the release of payment within 15 days, several persons in Rayagada district are yet receive their wages for the last seven years.

Though Dhabali Sahu had got the work order for digging a pond at Champadora village in Kashipur block under MGNREGS in 2010, the labourers engaged for the work are yet to be paid.

“We are yet to receive our wages for the last seven years,” said Sahu.

Not only Rayagada, similar allegations have also come up in Sundergarh district where the beneficiaries are yet to receive their wages even though four years have passed since completion of a road project.

Meanwhile, political parties are passing the buck to each other for non-payment of wages to the beneficiaries under the rural employment scheme.
The ruling-BJD in state has attributed the delay in payment to labourers to untimely release of funds by the Centre.

Odisha government claims that the Centre was supposed to release Rs 2766.87 crore under the MGNREGS, but only 1,244 crore has been received by August while the balance funds are expected to be released next year by Centre for which such problems in payments have cropped up.

“Due to negligence on the part of Centre, labourers in Odisha are yet to get their dues,” said Odisha Panchayati Raj Minister Pradeep Maharathy.

BJP’s Odisha unit president Basant Panda on the other hand alleged that as Odisha failed to submit utilisation certificates, there has been a delay in release of funds.

Congress meanwhile took pot shots at both BJD and BJP for their failure in execution of the rural job scheme.

“Unfortunately since BJP came to power, there have been irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGS,” said Congress MLA Naba Das.