The Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh has sharply criticised the NREGS ‘funds cut’ by the Centre. Last year, the Centre has provided 44% less fund to the state. And given Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh’s recent criticism, the outlook for this fiscal year may not be too good.
“The Centre has given step-motherly treatment to the state,” said minister for rural development Arvind Kumar Singh. In 2011-12, the Center had provided R6668 crore. But in the last fiscal, against the allotted Rs. 7,003 crore, the Center had released only Rs. 3,090 crore. Compared to UP’s performance in 2011-12, the SP government had been unable to utilise funds for the last fiscal year, Ramesh had contended. The state government had provided 30% less jobs -- there was no job generation in 1,084 villages, he said.
Denying Ramesh’s charge, Singh said the non-generation of jobs was just 1%, given the big picture. The state has 52,000 villages. Despite funds crunch, Uttar Pradesh has performed better, he said.
Asking the Centre to release Rs. 1536.32 crore over the next six months, said, he said the funds should be on a par with Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Accusing the Centre of “creating hurdles” in matter, Singh said the people of the state should decide on the government’s performance.