In the absence of adequate banking services in rural areas in Jharkhand, some labourers sell their MGNREGA cheques to “middlemen” for a discount to get the money on the spot, a top official suggested on Wednesday.

“Recently I went to Chatra and learnt that a MGNREGA labourer had sold his Rs. 100 cheque to get Rs. 70,” state Chief Secretary Ashok Kumar Singh said at a programme in presence of RBI Governor D. Subbarao.

Mr. Subbarao, who demonstrated the working of a machine that would be carried by agents to facilitate withdrawal and deposit of money in banks, assured that banking services would reach the customers’ doorsteps.

In order to stop middlemen from siphoning off wages earned by labourers under MNREGA, the government had last year had facilitated opening of bank accounts for the beneficiaries.