Govt to start electronic transfer of MGNREGA wages from 2016 in Kerala

New Delhi :To prevent leakages in the MGNREGA programme, the government will introduce the system for electronic transfer of wages to the beneficiaries from January 1 next year in Kerala, Lok Sabha was informed today.

An additional Rs 2,000 crore would be sought from the Finance Ministry towards ensuring that MNREGA wages are at par with the agriculture wages fixed by some states, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) provides 100 days of employment to registered workers on their demand.

During Question Hour, Singh said electronic transfer of wages under MNREGA would be introduced in Kerala from January 1, 2016. “If it is successful, we will introduce it (e-transfer of wages) in other states,” he noted.
According to him, there are around 11 crore accounts and out of them, 65 per cent are in banks and the remaining in post offices.

Noting that MNREGA is a demand-driven wage employment programme, the Minister said various modalities have been put in place to prevent leakages in the scheme.

To avoid bogus attendance as well as instances of tampering and misuse of muster rolls, the e-Muster system has been introduced. For smooth fund flow, the electronic Fund Management System (e-FMS) has been made mandatory from April 1 this year, the Minister said.

Responding to a query about low wages being paid under MNREGA, Singh said the government wants the wage amount to be equal to that fixed by respective states. In this regard, the Ministry would seek Rs 2,000 crore from the Finance Ministry, he added.

“There has been delay in provision of work in the generation of 1.65 crore person days for which unemployment allowance of Rs 137.89 crore becomes payable after due verification by the block level officers,” Singh said, while adding that no state has reported payment of unemployment allowance.