Claims that the wages to be paid under the scheme was delayed by over two months

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari on Saturday accused the “cash starved” SAD-BJP government in Punjab of diverting Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funds for “other purposes” and claimed that the wages to be paid under the scheme was delayed by over two months.

The Congress MP from Ludhiana, in a statement issued in Ludhiana, said Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh had recently written to CM Parkash Singh Badal drawing his attention towards this lapse. “It appears that the State government is diverting the funds it gets from the Central government under MGNERGA. Otherwise there is no reason why the wages should be delayed by months when it must be paid within 15 days,” the Union Minister said.

He claimed the Punjab government had delayed over 55 per cent of the wages amounting to over Rs.55 crore till the month of January beyond the stipulated time period. “Shockingly, in Punjab, the wages have been delayed by over two months,” Mr.Tewari said.