ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Work without Wages

Delayed wage payments and inadequate wage revisions rob MGNREGA of its soul.

Timely payment of wages is central to the rights-based realisation of minimum guaranteed income under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, which tracks the implementation of the act, found that 64%, 86%, and 99% of the orders for wages in February, March, and April, respectively, remained unprocessed. While non-payment or delays in payment are not new to MGNREGA, recent changes in the structure of wage payments have only worsened the problem.

The Narendra Modi government, in order to ensure “leakage proof payment” through the National Electronic Fund Management System (NeFMS), ordered that payments happen through a fund transfer order (FTO). Payments through Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts were also introduced subsequently. While ensuring that wages reach workers without any leakages is laudable, its practicability at the ground level as well as its implications remains a concern. Even as the execution of such measures can be improved over time, they reverse the process of decentralised participatory development.

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Updated On : 21st Apr, 2018

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