Kerala criticises union govt over new restriction in MGNREGA


MV Govindan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left government in Kerala has urged the Centre to revoke its decision to limit the simultaneous works under the MGNREGA scheme, saying it would create huge setback in the rural economy which was trying to come out of the crisis inflicted by the COVID-19.

Slamming the Centre over the move, state LSGD minister M V Govindan said it was taken without considering the circumstances prevailing in Kerala which tops among states in the implementation of the scheme. It would not only plunge the labourers into a deep crisis but also adversely impact the implementation of the scheme in the southern state, he noted.

The state government already sent a letter to the union rural development ministry conveying its concerns regarding the new decision. "The Centre's decision is a huge setback to the local financial sector which is trying to come out of the crisis caused by the Covid-19. The Centre should revoke its decision which pushes the labourers into crisis," the minister said in a statement.

The order that only 20 works can be allowed simultaneously would create issues in the labour sector as well as in the area of the local financial sector, he pointed out. "The decision is also against the basic principles of MGNREGA that 100 work days should be ensured to all families who demand for it," he said.

Pointing out that the structure of village panchayats in Kerala and northern states are quite different, he said even a single ward in Kerala may comprise the same population of a panchayat in other states. The village panchayats in Kerala comprise 13 to 23 such wards and the state meets the immense labour demand by implementing simultaneous works.

Though the state had demanded 10 crore work days this year, only six crore days had been allotted by the Centre, he said. The state has already completed 2,43,53,000 work days within the first four months of the financial year, Govindan added.

PTI

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