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NREGA Faces Funds Crunch


Biggest employment generating program, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has received serious setback in Odisha due to funds crunch.


With severely slowing down funding by Union Government, implementation of MGNREGA has received a jolt in Odisha as funds are not available to implement the Flagship Program.

State is to get more than Rs.1200 Crore of Central Share for MGNREGA for which State Government is facing tough time.

While State Government is time and again urging Ministry of Rural Development to release funds in a time bound manner, releasing funds by the Union Government has become erratic, officials admit.

Senior Officials of Department of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water has sent missives and are in touch with senior officials of MoRD in this regard. However situation is getting worse as funding has been going down every year.

In 2017-18, the MoRD approved Rs.2798.37 Crore Labor Budget for Odisha out of which Central Share was Rs.2534.38 and by 31 March 2018, Centre released Rs.2198.49 Crore. Till date Rs.335.89 Crore Central share of Last Fiscal is yet to be received by the State.

In 2018-19, MoRD approved Labour Budget of Rs.3054.53 Crore and out of which Central Share is Rs.2766.38 Crore and till date State has received Rs.1888.58 Crore from Union Government.

Each year funding is going down as in 2017-18, Government of India released 86 Percent of Central Share, while in 2018-19, it has gone down to 68 Percent, resulting adverse impact on implementation of MGNREGA.

There is total disruption in implementation of the employment generating program, for which State Government has once again approached MoRD to release funds.

Now it is the peak time for implementation of MGNREGA and there is hardly any funding flowing from Central Pool, admits the officers.

For this wage seekers are facing tough time and in order to overcome funds constraint, State Government is utilizing its own Revolving Fund of Rs.300 Crore to provide wage employment to the job seekers.
 
However as the State Government is yet to receive Central share worth Rs.1213.69 Crore, the program is leading to repeated disruption, admit officials.
 
Prime objective of MGNREGA is to provide livelihood security to the household in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year.
 
While Government of India release 100 Percent towards unskilled wage expenditure, material spending is borne by both Centre and State on 75:25 Basis.

However of late funds flow from Union Government has slowed down severely, resulting disruption in implementation of the program, admits official.  


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