Though the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was perceived to generate job opportunities for the unemployed rural masses but the pending amount of liabilities created on account of initiated work under MGNREGA in J&K has touched figures to the tune of 400 crores of rupees thereby derailing the very purpose of the scheme. This was said by Congress senior leader J&K and MLA Inderwal, G. M. Saroori.
Saroori said in sheer violation of standing norms and the spirit of the much publicized Centrally sponsored scheme under MGNREGA, lakhs of people belonging to the labour class, have been denied their hard earned wages worth over Rs 400 crores in the J&K State for the last over one year.
“A poor person belonging to labour class required wages in the evening after completion of work so that he or she could feed his/ her family by getting meals in the evening but if the labourer is denied wages for months together, then there is no purpose of such schemes. It indicated that the real purpose of the MGNREGA Scheme is being defeated especially in this State despite the fact that spirit behind the scheme is very good for providing job to those living below poverty line or belonging to the category of poorest of the poor”, said Saroori.
Congress leader said that the labourers and other workers holding job cards issued by BDOs, often stage protests across the region and has repeated demanded for release of wages but falling on deaf ears and the poor men and women are deprived of their right to wages under MGNREGA for no fault of theirs. He said the political leadership of the Centre has become totally insensitive to the miseries of the poor people.
“The delay in releasing the wages was a cruel joke with people who were living hand-to-mouth and had been provided livelihood security through MGNREGA by the UPA government at the Centre. The Centre government has snatched the means of survival from families of poor workers”, Saroori said and had sought the intervention of Chief Minister J&K, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for immediate clearing the liability of J&K including Erstwhile Doda.
It is pertinent to mention here that five districts including Kupwara, Kishtwar, Jammu, Kulgam and Ganderbal have liabilities worth more than Rs 1000 lakhs while seven districts comprising Reasi, Budgam, Kargil, Baramulla, Poonch, Samba and Udhampur have liabilities worth more than Rs 500 lakhs and less than Rs 1000 lakhs for works executed under MGNREGA. Four districts of Rajouri, Bandipora, Leh and Doda have created liabilities worth less than Rs 500 lakhs. Kupwara district has created the highest number of liabilities with an amount of Rs 6328.19 lakhs while the number two in the list is Kishtwar district which has accumulated liabilities worth Rs 4115 lakhs.