Govt forcing states to reduce projected demand under MGNREGA: SC told

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New Delhi : The Centre is “forcing” states to slash their projected demand for funds under the rural employment guarantee scheme due to which states were unable to provide employment to people, an NGO on Tuesday alleged in the Supreme Court.

A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and N V Ramana was told by advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing NGO Swaraj Abhiyan, that the Centre cannot cap the funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) which provides for 100 days of employment per family per year.

“Today, more than half of the state governments are controlled by the party which runs the central government. That is why the Centre is asking these states not to make a fuss about it (funds). The Centre is saying that if you (states) will make a fuss about it, we will cut the budget,” he told the bench.

He said budgetary constraints could come into effect only if employment has crossed the limit of 100 days per annum per family and the government cannot limit the funds till then.

“The Centre is forcing states to reduce the projected demand,” he claimed, adding that the average employment provided under the Act has come down to 40-45 days against the stipulated 100 days annually.–PTI

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