The union cabinet on Wednesday approved the direct release of wages to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme to increase overall efficiency in its implementation.
Sources said the decision will benefit all stakeholders and workers will be assured of payment of wages on the second day of the pay order generation.
The cabinet meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources said that despite implementation of the electronic Fund Management System (e-FMS) earlier, delays were recorded in the release of funds.
They said that following the decision, gram panchayats will be empowered to take up work according to the agreed labour budget without struggling for the release of funds.
Sources said the Centre will gain by releasing what is actually expended and there will be greater transparency in the movement of funds and lesser corruption.
MGNREGA aims at enhancing the livelihood security of the people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s oratory skills seem to be taking a much-desired shift as he gave a fiery 31-minute animated taunt at the government, mixed with sarcasm and humour yesterday. Gandhi has been ridiculed for his drab speeches since a long time now.
There was often deft silence, repeatedly disturbed by loud jeer from the treasury benches, when the 45-year-old Gandhi scion tore into the government over various issues in the high-ceilinged precincts of the Lok Sabha.
He poked a finger and perhaps touched a raw nerve when he sarcastically referred to RSS ideologue Veer Savarkar and slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for following him. The BJP members heckled back, objecting to his remarks.
“I said (Mahatma) Gandhi is ours, Veer Savarkar is yours. Am I wrong? Have you thrown Savarkar away? Good for you,” Gandhi said, with a grin, as he intermittently looked at a paper on which he apparently had written his talking points.
He wore a clean-shaven look, a white kurta pyjama, appeared calm, made frequent eye contact with MPs, moved his hands freely with strong gestures. Congress MPs cued him on various issues that the party needed him to speak on. But he remained undistracted.
He apparently didn’t bother about details and fumbled many a time, giving his detractors a reason to boo at him. But he took the criticism in his stride without getting overwhelmed.
“I am not from RSS, I commit mistakes,” said Gandhi, often derided for his alleged lack of knowledge and not so good oratory skills.
Even some BJP members, including Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, could not help but smile back at him while Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha clapped at least once.
Gandhi rode roughshod over the ruling party for its criticism of the previous Congress government.
“Modiji said I have not seen a scheme as bad as MGNREGA. But (Finance Minister) Arun Jaitley came to me and said that it’s a very good scheme. I told him, why don’t you say this to your boss? When money was allotted to MGNREGA, I closed my eyes and thought it was (P) Chidambaram, (the former finance minister during the Congress government), presenting the budget.”
His colleagues burst into laughter amid bouts of protests from the other side of the house. He lashed out at the government’s measures as an “assault on democracy”.
“Modiji is a very powerful man. Everybody feels a bit scared of him. But we should ask him questions. You should also ask,” he told BJP MPs. (Sarwar Kashani, IANS)