MGNREGA seeks Rs25, 000 crore more

The Centre has sought Rs25, 000 crore as additional funding for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme as part of the supplementary demand for  grants submitted to Parliament on Friday after the demand- driven rural jobs scheme ran out of funds midway through the year.

The additional budget for MGNREGA was among the most keenly awaited as pending payments for wages and materials have threatened to cripple implementation of the scheme. Continuing economic distress in rural India has led to increased demand for jobs under the scheme which promises 100 days of unskilled work for every house hold at a pay of about Rs 210 per day.

With four months remaining in the financial year MGNREGA has finished spending the Rs 73,000 crore initially allocated in the budget and its financial statement now shows a negative net balance of Rs 10,244 crore including payments due.

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