Tripura: MGNREGA payments in state to resume from June


AGARTALA, May 13, 2018 (TNN): BJP vice-president Subal Bhowmik on Saturday said that the Tripura government has been able to persuade the Centre to once again release funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and payments will begin from June.

Payments for jobs under MGNREGA had stopped since the last financial quarter after there were allegations of corruption and financial irregularities in the implementation of the Act in the state. Tripura has seen a series of protests over the issue in recent times, with Congress staging a blockade of the national highway in Agartala on Friday.

Bhowmik, however, put the blame on the CPM government, claiming it was their failure to comply with the directives that led to the present crisis. "Both the chief minister and his deputy convinced the Centre that the workers, for no fault of theirs, are suffering a lot in the state. We have been able to persuade the ministry to release funds again. We are also going to take action against the accused whose faults led to the present crisis," he said.

"No allowance has been withdrawn and the payment will begin from June after a review undertaken by the state government is over. According to feedback received, many ineligible people were being paid under the scheme while those who were entitled to these allowances went unpaid. We do not believe in depriving anybody and would like to ensure that eligible people have access to these benefits," he added, pointing out that there was a deficit of Rs 11,000 crore, with over 7.5 lakh without jobs, in the state when the new government took over.

CPM and Congress had earlier lambasted the BJP-led government for its failure to ensure the release of funds under MGNREGA.
Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee president Birajit Sinha had said, "The payment of allowances for disadvantaged people including old age pension, allowance for widows, women deserted by husbands, physically handicapped people and others have all been suspended in the name of a review. The government is free to review the names and identities of beneficiaries but why should payments be suspended? " Sinha said.
CPM MP Jitendra Chaudhury had claimed that at least 400 people fromDhalai district have been forced to migrate to Bangladesh in search of work. He had also written a letter to chief minister Biplab Deb to draw his attention to the matter.
Featured image: Rural Marketing