A series of communication between the rural development ministry and the finance ministry has revealed that more than 95% of the fund allocation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has already been used up, which will directly affect 1.84 crore workers in 12 states. The communication, accessed by the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), has revealed that an additional Rs 5,000 crore that the finance ministry had promised during the budgetary speech, too, has not been allocated yet.MKSS activists, Aruna Roy and Nikhil Dey, along with economist Jayati Ghosh revealed in a presser that the affected states include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim and Uttar Pradesh. It must be noted that the rural development ministry had revealed that the employment generation in the second and third quarter of 2015-16 is 36% and 8% more than that in the same period in the previous year. The payments being made on time have also increased considerably from 27% last year to 45% this year, they revealed.However, a correspondence between the ministry of rural development and the ministry of finance has revealed that as of 30 December 2015, 95% of the funds allocated for the programme so far have already been spent. 17% of the MGNREGA budget has gone in paying pending liabilities of wage and material payments from the previous financial year. The actual allocation for employment generation in the current year is approximately around Rs 29,000 crores, revealed MKSS.The rural development ministry has further told the finance ministry that the state governments will need at least an additional amount of Rs 6,300 crore. To add to that almost 50 days of work days have been added to Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, which were affected by the drought. But, there has been no increased allocation to take that additional requirement into account.”This will directly affect 1.82 crore workers working on the payroll with a negative balance. And, because of the fund starvation, they will not get any payments till April,” said Roy. “There is a parliamentary sanction to the scheme and it is terrible that we are denying that right to the most vulnerable in the society.”In most areas, workers who work on a pension are also affected. “The MGNREGA was one of the last hopes, given the budgetary cuts to other schemes like ICDS. But, even within the MGNREGA scheme now, pensions have been slashed. In states like Rajasthan, banks routinely send away the elderly for minor mistake,” said Nikhil.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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95% of MGNREGA fund allocation used up, 1.84 crore workers to be affected