Visakhapatnam

Sarpanches stage protest over pending MGNREGS bills

Sarpanches, ZPTCs, MPTCs and MPPs staging a demonstration in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

Sarpanches, ZPTCs, MPTCs and MPPs staging a demonstration in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Dues mount to ₹2,500 crore, discrimination in release of funds alleged

Sarpanches, ZPTCs, MPTCs and MPPs under the aegis of Andhra Pradesh Panchayati Raj Chamber staged a protest, seeking clearance of the pending bills for the works done under MGNREGS, at the Mahatma Gandhi statue near the GVMC administrative building, here on Wednesday.

Alleging that that bills of around ₹2,500 crore were pending, the protesters threatened to intensify their agitation if the dues were not cleared immediately.

MLC Y.V.B. Rajendra Prasad, who is also the president of National Panchayati Raj Chamber, said around 60 % of the sarpanches, ZPTCs, MPTCs and MPPs belong to the SC, ST, BC and Minority communities. “They are not contractors but poor villagers who have undertaken works under the MGNREGS in their respective villages, and completed them by taking loans,” he said.

The government, instead of clearing the pending bills, is delaying payments alleging corruption. The government has paid the bills for the MGNREGS works in Pulivendula constituency, but neglected the remaining 174 constituencies in the State, he alleged.

Accusing the government of resorting to discrimination while releasing funds, the MLC said that the funds released by the Centre for MGNREGS works were diverted for other purposes.

‘Chalo Collectorate’

“Sarpanches would be forced to resort to extreme step if the bills are not cleared. Sarpanches, MPTCs, ZPTCs and MPPs, irrespective of their political affiliations, are organising ‘Chalo Collectorate’ programmes in all the 13 districts,” he added.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 11:11:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/sarpanches-stage-protest-over-pending-mgnregs-bills/article29903428.ece

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