Shortfall in mandays to hit MGNREGS in Bihar from Nov

Published on Oct 20, 2022 09:09 PM IST

On Thursday, officials said, the RDD raised the issue of the need for additional mandays under the rural job scheme during a mid-term review meeting with officials of union ministry of rural development.

Members of All India Farm and Rural Labourers Union and MNREGA workers hold a demonstration in Patna in March 2021. Bihar has a total of 2.24 crore job card holders, of which 1.09 crore are active workers under MGNREGS, which is supported by the Centre (HT Photo)
Members of All India Farm and Rural Labourers Union and MNREGA workers hold a demonstration in Patna in March 2021. Bihar has a total of 2.24 crore job card holders, of which 1.09 crore are active workers under MGNREGS, which is supported by the Centre (HT Photo)
By, Patna

Allocation of work to the rural poor under the centrally sponsored Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is set to witness a slowdown in Bihar from November on account of a shortfall of mandays approved for the state, officials familiar with the matter said.

Officials in the state’s rural development department( RDD) said Bihar, which got an additional 2.5 crore mandays sanctioned in August end, will exhaust almost 100% of mandays by October end, an indication of higher work allocation even in rainy season when the job demand is usually sluggish.

In the current fiscal (2022-23), the state had exhausted 15 crore mandays by August — an average of 3 crore mandays in of the first five months of the financial year — which reflects a higher allocation of work to the job card holders under the rural job scheme for the unskilled. As against the demand of an additional 10 crore mandays from the Centre, the state had got only 2.5 crore by August end, officials said.

“We will be exhausting 2.5 crore mandays by October 31. There will be problems in giving work from November onwards unless we get additional mandays,” said Rahul Kumar, state’s MGNREGA commissioner.

RDD officials said this could, in turn, impact implementation of various schemes related to earth works, including Jal Jeevan Hariyali and construction of houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin), in the winter months that are considered good for earth related activities.

“We have sought an immediate meeting of empowered committee of MGNREGS to be convened so that the demand for additional mandays could be discussed,” said the MGNREGS commissioner.

The empowered committee of the scheme is mandated to approve additional mandays and revise the budget of the job scheme.

On Thursday, officials said, the RDD raised the issue of the need for additional mandays under the rural job scheme during a mid-term review meeting with officials of union ministry of rural development.

A letter from the state rural development department minister Sharvan Kumar is being sent to the union ministry, seeking immediate additional mandays for giving work to the rural poor in coming months, officials said.

The RDD minister was not available for comment.

Bihar has a total of 2.24 crore job card holders (those eligible to demand work), of which 1.09 crore are active workers under MGNREGS, which is supported by the Centre. A defined share is given by the state government too.

A total of 38.19 lakh families have been given work under the scheme from April to July of this fiscal, as per stet government data.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist for 21 years, Anirban covers RJD, legislature and government beats. Has extensive experience in covering elections and writes regularly on finance, land reforms, registration, excise and socio-economic issues.

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