In Tamil Nadu, 92.86 lakh households have been issued with Job Cards. (File)
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has written to Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh, requesting to release the funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
"The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is one of the important Schemes for providing employment opportunity to all registered households in the rural areas and is the only scheme providing livelihood opportunity to rural people as well as create durable and sustainable rural assets to improve the Village infrastructure and fulfills the demand of rural people to a great level," MK Stalin said in a letter.
Tamil Nadu has always been a top-performing state in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS under various parameters. In Tamil Nadu, 92.86 lakh households have been issued with Job Cards. Out of that, nearly 91.52 Lakh workers pertaining to 76.15 lakh households are actively participating in the MGNREGS works regularly, the letter said.
As agriculture in Tamil Nadu is heavily dependent on rains from the Southwest Monsoon and cyclonic rains from the Northeast Monsoon, vagary in any one of the above monsoons leads to higher demand for MGNREGS works, it said.
"I would like to reiterate that MGNREGS is considered as an important livelihood opportunity in rural areas for many like elderly people, destitute women, women-headed households, differently abled workers and additional livelihood opportunity for many in rural households, especially during lean agricultural season, " according to the Chief Minister's letter.
In particular, women empowerment has been realized by the MGNREGS as the majority workforce is women and credit of wages to their bank account has greatly improved their finances, the Chief Minister said.
During the year 2023-2024, the original demand made by Tamil Nadu is 40 crore person-days. So far, the Government of India has approved 28 crore person-days. Up to October 23, Tamil Nadu has achieved 31.15 crore person-days, by providing employment to 76.06 lakh workers pertaining to 66.26 lakh households, he said.
"In the financial Year 2023-24, Rs 4,903.25 crore has been released by the Government of India for the unskilled wages to the workers up to July 19. Subsequently, on September 25, a sum of Rs 1,755.43 crore was sanctioned by the Government of India for the payment of unskilled wages. However, out of the sanctioned amount, only Rs 418.233 crore seemed to have been released partially, leaving a balance of Rs 1,337.20 crore yet to be credited into the accounts of workers. Further liability of Rs 1,359.57 crore for the wages for the subsequent weeks also not released yet. Thus, as on October 20, the wage liability for the workers in Tamil Nadu had accumulated to Rs 2,696.77 crore," the letter stated.
"I visited Kattankulathur Panchayat Union in Chengalpattu District on October 17. During the above visit, both the public and public representatives made a plea for the release of unpaid wages under MGNREGS to the workers immediately in view of the ensuing festive season. A similar request was received by me during my visit to Tiruvannamalai District as well.
"In view of the foregoing, I request that the total wage liability amount of Rs 2,696.77 crore be released to Tamil Nadu immediately. Further, additional funds may also be released to unskilled workers regularly. I look forward to your personal intervention in this regard," the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said in the letter.
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