Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release the state's share of allocated funds for the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme to Himachal Pradesh. In a communication sent to the latter on Wednesday, he said paucity of funds has "paralysed" the scheme in the state.
"The central government had approved rs 761.71 crore NREGA budget for fiscal 2014-15 of which Rs. 670.71 crore was the central share. Rs 740.58 crore was required for current financial year but the central government has so far released only rs 355.43 crore to Himachal.
The state is implementing the scheme in an effective manner and during the last fiscal spent rs 571.22 crore by generating 282.47 lakh mandays against the target of rs 2.73 crore mandays, achieving 103 % of the labour budget projection during 2014-15 as sufficient funds were provided by the central government for the scheme," Virbhadra said in the letter.
He said the central rural development ministry had approved a labour budget projection of 2.76 crore mandays for the state for the current fiscal.
"It remains a matter of concern that according to the revised fund allocation indicated by the ministry concerned during the performance review committee meeting held on September 18 and 19 last year, the allocation of central share to Himachal was reduced to only rs 355.43 crore.
The state has already begun implementing the NREGA scheme as per the approved labour budget. The substantial reduction in central funds allocation will adversely affect implementation of the scheme in the state. Moreover, the paucity of funds will also result in noncompliance with legal provisions mandated in the Act," he added.