The Supreme Court, in an order, had said that any delay in paying the wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is not acceptable and red-tape cannot be an excuse to deny payment to the workers.
As per the MGNREGA Act, workers who possess the MGNREGA job card must at least get wages for minimum 100 days on an annual basis and pending dues must be paid within 15 days of completion of work. For any further delay, there is a provision of compensation payment.
The MGNREGA was initiated to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing guaranteed employment to adult members of every household on a volunteer basis. They do unskilled manual work to build durable assets such as roads, canals, ponds and wells.
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), 2005, which was later renamed MGNREGA, branched out to form Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). It ensures employment within 5 km of a beneficiary’s residence at a minimum wage. If work is not provided within 15 days of applying, applicants are entitled to an unemployment allowance.
TN beneficiaries over 1.16 crore
“Since the local body elections were on, the works under MGNREGS were put on hold. Still, the labourers were involved in sanitary works, But they have not been paid for the work so far,” V Veerasenan from Ponnavarayankottai said.
Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 pending as wages
Several labourers have pending wage amounts between Rs 2,000 and Rs 10,000. Pallirisamy added that the officials have been citing elections as the reason for the delay in disbursing the fund and, since the elections are over now, they should consider putting the workers out of the misery.
Wages to be credited in a week