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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Rural employment scheme comes to a halt in Bathinda

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Bathinda, April 23, 2013
First Published: 20:21 IST(23/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:22 IST(23/4/2013)

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme in the district has come to a halt with the district administration having expelled all 90 gram rozgar sahayaks (GRS).

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Days after the move, the District Panchayat Secretaries Union had passed a resolution declaring not to do the work of the GRS employees.

The union had condemned the expelling of the employees and demanded their reinstatement.

Gram Rozgar Sahayak Union district president Amrik Singh on Tuesday said, "The district administration had expelled all 90 working GRS employees who were being paid from the NREGA funds. The administration has used the funds on maintaining the office of zila parishads and now they say there is shortage of funds."

Amrik said, "We have been staging a protest against the government for removing us from job and making us unemployed without any rhyme or reason. The administration claims that they have no funds. We have been protesting for 17 days and held a protest march against the state government on Tuesday."

District Panchayat Secretaries Union chief Gurjiwan Singh said, "We had passed a resolution and submitted it to the officials concerned, including the ADC development. In the resolution, besides condemning the move, we had declared not to perform the duties of these employees. The complete work under NREGA has come to a halt in the district as it depended entirely on the GRS employees. The expelled employees should be reinstated. This is sheer exploitation of these employees as the district
administration has expelled them all after they had been working for four years."

"We also met union minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday and discussed the issue with him. The minister has asked us to meet him again in June."

Additional deputy commissioner Mohammad Tayyab said, "In the current financial year, we cannot pay these employees with the available funds, so we relieved them of the work."

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