Hundreds of contractual workers of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act ( MNREGA) from across the state staged a protest in front of Vidhan Bhawan on Monday demanding release of their pending arrears. These MNREGA employees, under the banner of Gram Rozgar Sewak Sangh, alleged that the authorities were turning a deaf ear towards their problem. They threatened to intensify the agitation if their were demands not met.
“Even a labourer gets Rs. 142 per day and these gram sewaks are given Rs. 33 per day as honorarium. At least they should get wages at par with the labourers,” Sanjay Dixit, former member of Central Employment Guarantee Scheme, government of India and member of All India Congress Committee (AICC) said.
Dixit alleged that of the Rs. 2225 crore available for the first three months of 2013-14 financial year, the state government had spent just Rs. 374 crore. He further said that the state government had also not paid Rs. 127crore of labour payment for the work done in the last financial year. “The strategy of UP government is very clear. They want to demoralise the two primary stakeholders of the scheme- the poor rural labourers who are the beneficiary by delaying their wages and 60,000 contractual employees who are the backbone in implementing this MNREGA in UP,” he added. Gram rozgar sewaks are appointed in villages to manage works related with projects executed under the MNREGA. Appointed on a three-year contract, they get a monthly stipend.