After receiving flak from a parliamentary committee for poor implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), the Maharashtra government is planning to relax certain rules of the scheme.
A proposal is likely to be tabled in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The parliamentary committee had said that the performance of states such as Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana was ‘far from satisfactory’.
The NREGA is the largest employment security scheme in the world that ensures employment to adult members of a household for up to 100 days a year at a fixed daily wage, with the Centre paying the bulk of the money. Maharashtra’s employment guarantee scheme was the basis of the NREGA.
“We are not finding enough takers for the scheme the way it is. We need to rework the definition of ‘unskilled’ labour under the scheme since Maharashtra has a lot of skilled labour that is unemployed and can benefit from the scheme,” a senior cabinet minister said on Tuesday.
The state will also rework the ratio of wages to material to increase the wages labourers get, the minister added.
This move comes a day after senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde slammed the state for poor implementation of the scheme. “Maharashtra has failed to get proper benefits under this scheme from the Centre,” Munde had said in Mumbai on Monday.
“Since 2007, the state has only got Rs 935 crores from the Centre while other states have got Rs 2,000 crore to Rs 3,000 crore every year.”