The order was issued on Wednesday on a request by the State Mission Director, MGNREGS.

A government directive to divert the maintenance fund of civic bodies to clear the Rs.428-crore wage arrears under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) reportedly violates the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections.

The order was issued on Wednesday on a request by the State Mission Director, MGNREGS. The Director sought government permission to temporarily divert funds from the unspent balance of the maintenance fund of district, block, and grama panchayats to disburse wage arrears.

The Director had stated that it would be reimbursed on getting the Central allocation for the programme. But the allocation for the current year would be made only in the next financial year, sources said.

As per the provisions of the MGNREG Act, the State government will have to pay a fine to the workers for delaying the wages.

The Central arrears for the programme had touched Rs.1,000 crore.

The alleged laxity of the Central and State governments in providing the funds to the civic bodies for paying out the wages had come in for criticism.

Thus, the funds apportioned for road and non-road maintenance would be diverted immediately. The government had asked the three-tier panchayats to ensure at least 65 per cent absorption of the maintenance fund in the current financial year.

RELATED NEWS

Panchayats asked to foot MGNREGS wagesMarch 30, 2014

More In: Kerala | National