Delay in payment of wages to workers is the biggest concern under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on the 6th anniversary of the right to work scheme on Thursday.
“We achieved many a success but several challenges still remain. The biggest concern is ensuring timely payment to workers. Wage delays force the workers to take costly loans to meet their ends,” Singh said.
Stating that ensuring payments within 15 days of work is their priority, Singh asked postal and banking services to expand on the rural side.
“The delay in payment of their wages is illegal and unacceptable to us under any circumstances. We will have to ensure that MGNREGA workers get timely payment," UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said.
Apathy in some states: Sonia Gandhi Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi hit out at the states lagging in implementation of the scheme.
“Unfortunately, there is an apathy towards implementation of NREGA in some states especially those considered poor.”
“Corruption in MGNREGA is an injustice to the country and a crime in respect of the Father of the Nation after whom it (the scheme) is named,” she said.
Gandhi, also the chairperson of the National Advisory Council, said it was time to implement reforms in NREGA.
“We cannot ignore the complaints that are coming regarding the irregularities and corruption in the scheme.” Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh recently wrote to Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati pointing to lapses and irregularities in implementation of scheme.