Kollam: The unskilled labourers in the state under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), who have played a vital role in rebuilding the state post-floods, are at the receiving end with no money paid to them since November 2018. The dues from the central government have mounted to Rs. 1,150 crore.
The norm stipulated in the Act that the employees must be paid an interest of 0.05 percent of dues per day if the wages are not paid within 14 days has been sabotaged in the guidelines issued by the centre, it is alleged.
"The centre had sanctioned Rs. 2,036 crore towards wages this financial year. However, Rs. 763 crore was diverted to clear the dues from the last financial year.
Only Rs. 1273.15 crore has been disbursed as wages to these labourers this year, leaving behind dues of Rs. 1,150 crore," an official told DC.
The centre has been evading the payment of extra 0.05 percent interest on the dues. To validate this move, it has been incorporated in the project guidelines that if the delay is from the centre, the workers have no right to claim the compensation.
While the centre is lax in the payment, Kerala has achieved person days far ahead of the labour budget approved.
The centre had allotted 5.50 crore person days which was achieved by the state by December itself.
The centre revised the labour budget to seven crore work days, for which the state has created 8.86 crore person days till Thursday, which is an all-time record achieving 127 percent of the approved labour budget with the entire expenditure of Rs. 2,694 crore this financial year.
The state has achieved this by giving additional person days utilising the services of MNREGA workers to rebuild the flood-affected state....