NEW DELHI: The Centre has asked states to form monitoring groups for rural job guarantee scheme MGNREGA at the earliest.
The State Employment Guarantee Council (SEGC), will comprise state officials, ministers, and public representative, and will act as monitoring body tasked to oversee the implementation of the scheme. The directive came following the Supreme Court (SC) order for the same on the writ petition filed by Swaraj Abhiyan, an NGO working for farmers cause earlier this month.
“The government of India is directed to proactively request the state governments to establish the State Employment Guarantee Council under section 12 of the act within a period of 45 days from today. The effective implementation of the NREGA Act will certainly not be possible until these monitoring and reviewing authority faithfully and urgently established by the government of India and state governments,” the SC said in its order on May 13.
Nikhil Dey of Majdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) told HT that while the councils are mandated under the NREGA Act, many states have either not formed them or those that are in place are not functional.
The idea of the council at the state level and also at the centre was that they be supreme monitoring body that oversee the implementation of the scheme.
“I have been a member of the council both at the centre level and state and I have not seen them functioning as they should be,” Dey said.
So once they are formed on the direction of the supreme court, it should be seen that they actually function and are as effective as they were conceived to be, he added.
The Supreme Court had earlier directed the Centre to clear ` 8,000 crore unpaid wages due to the MGNREGA workers for the year 2015-16. “If you are not releasing the funds, then no one will like to work. States will say they have no funds, so they can’t pay anyone for MGNREGA work. No state will make any commitment to the people,” a bench headed by Justice MB Lokur had said last month.
Following the SC rap, the centre released Rs 12000 crore.