Expressing concern over reported delay in payment of wages to the workers under MGNREGA, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked Odisha government to clear the backlog immediately.
"I would request the state government to give this utmost priority and disburse all delayed payments to beneficiaries immediately. Compensations as applicable may also be paid," Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh said in a recent letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
"This is a grave violation of the basic entitlements of these workers as the MGNREGA stipulates that wage payments be made within 15 days," Ramesh said in the letter released to the press here.
The Union minister said as per the Management Information System (MIS) of his ministry, wages amounting to Rs 216 crore, which is 41% of the total wage payment, had been delayed by over 15 days by the state government while Rs 29 crore out of the total wage payments was delayed by over 60 days.
He said that his ministry had brought an amendment to Schedule II of MGNREGA to ensure timely wage payment and adequate compensation in case of delays.