Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged Monday Prime Minister Narendra Modi to simplify procedures for making smooth payment to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA). Naveen Patnaik said there should be an addition of a default provision in ‘NREGASoft’ to enable drawl, utilisation, and recoupment of budgetary allocation towards ‘State’s Revolving Fund’ to prevent delay in payment of wages under MGNREGS.
NREGASoft is a local language-enabled workflow-based e-Governance system. It is available both in the offline and online mode to capture all the activities under NREGA at Centre/State/District/Block and Panchayat level.
Stating that the Odisha government has taken a slew of proactive measures to ensure proper implementation of MGNREGS and has ensured that the benefits of the scheme reach the intended beneficiaries, Patnaik said certain difficulties should be removed to make the system smooth and easy.
Patnaik stated that the Odisha government has done well in ensuring almost 100 per cent timely payment of wages. “This is a testimony of the tremendous emphasis it has attached to the mandates of the Act,” the chief minister said.
Patnaik also lauded the Centre’s action in raising the central budgetary allocation towards MGNREGS during the outbreak of the Covid-19 which enabled the Odisha government to provide succor to vulnerable rural households, especially migrant families.
“In order to ensure timely payment of wages, whenever there is a delay in receipt of funds from the central government towards the payment of -wage liabilities, the state government has created a ‘Revolving Fund’ for payment of wages to the Job card holders within the stipulated time as a contingent measure,” Patnaik pointed out.
The Odisha government has a budgetary allocation of Rs 1,000 crore towards the ‘Revolving Fund’ for 2022-23 fiscal. It has made a provision for the ‘Revolving Fund’ to be recouped after receipt of the fund in this regard from the Centre, Patnaik said in the letter.
Patnaik also pointed out that the Ministry of Rural Development had earlier been requested by the state administration for the addition of a default provision in NREGASoft.
“However, the Ministry is yet to take any action on the aforesaid proposals of the state government. I would, therefore, request you to kindly consider my government’s proposal for addition of a default provision in NREGASoft,” Patnaik wrote in the letter.