Centre tells States to split rural jobs scheme wages into separate categories for SCs, STs, others
It will complicate fee system, might lead to a discount in funding, say specialists.
The Centre has requested the States to split wage funds below the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme into separate categories for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and others from this monetary 12 months. Workers’ rights advocates mentioned this can unnecessarily complicate the fee system, and expressed fears that it might lead to a discount in scheme funding.
“Government of India has decided to provide separate budget heads for SC and ST categories under MGNREGS from the financial year 2021-22 for wage payment. The existing system for wages under the scheme is for only one type that is there is no category wise provision of wage payment,” mentioned the advisory despatched by Rural Development Ministry Director Dharmvir Jha to all State governments on March 2. The Puucho has seen a duplicate of the advisory, which doesn’t embody any rationale for the brand new process.
A video convention was held with State representatives to lay out the brand new course of in March. One of the contributors mentioned that States had been requested to confirm if job playing cards for SC and ST beneficiaries had been being correctly allotted on the subject stage. They had been informed they might be given fund allocations in accordance to this standards, indicating that labour budgets would even be segregated on a caste foundation.
“The Ministry may be thinking that this allocation is all being taken by the general category people, so they want to segregate based on the population of the district. And even the projection is done like that. Government thought: ‘Why not take exclusive allocation for SC and ST?’” mentioned the State consultant, who didn’t want to be named.
“These new modalities are bound to create complications in a payment system that is actually begging to be simplified,” mentioned a press release by the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha.
“All NREGA workers have the same rights. Segregating them into three groups for purposes of budgeting and wage payments serves no purpose,” it added.
Some activists expressed the concern that the reform is supposed to scale back funding.
In its assertion, the Morcha famous that there’s some inbuilt constructive discrimination within the scheme, mirrored in the truth that greater than 50% of employees are ladies and nearly 40% are SC/ST. However, it felt that the proposed reform wouldn’t assist SC/ST employees, however would expose all employees to additional uncertainties because the system struggles with modifications.
An evaluation of wage funds in Jharkhand in April and May by LibTech India discovered no variations within the time taken to pay SC/ST employees and others, indicating that there was no profit for marginalised communities below the brand new system. However, it discovered that the Centre took 26 days to pay employees even after States generated fund switch orders, as opposed to the stipulated seven-day interval.