Demand for more workdays, better pay

: Enhancing working days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) from the present 100 to 200 days and minimum wages to Rs. 350 was among the many demands that came up at a validation workshop on the scheme held at the collectorate on Tuesday.

The workshop was organised by the district poverty alleviation unit in association with the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) in the wake of an evaluation report prepared on the implementation of the scheme in the district by M.G. University’s School of International Relations and Politics.

N. Vinodini, Joint Programme Coordinator (JPC), MGNREGS, and project director, Poverty Alleviation Unit, emphasised on the need for JPCs with the sole responsibility of MGNREGS to do justice to the game changing scheme. She also pointed out the need to implement the scheme this financial year.

Ms. Vinodini talked about the lack of interest shown by majority of grama panchayats towards the scheme and exhorted workers’ unions to educate workers about their many rights and facilities under the scheme.

Umman John, faculty member, SIRD, said that grama panchayats defaulting on conducting social audit of the scheme should be taken to task.

K.M. Seethi, director, School of International Relations and Politics, the study could have reflected the economic empowerment aspect if researchers had been given the mandate thereof.

He said that conducting a survey with a sample size of 20 out of 84 panchayats had its own limitations.

Officials engaged in the implementation of the scheme complained of the many hurdles in front of them from accessibility to problems faced by them on delayed payment to worker.

A woman worker under the scheme lamented the difficulty in identifying enough works to provide job for 100 days.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 9:50:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/demand-for-more-workdays-better-pay/article7200035.ece

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