SC takes serious view of job scheme arrears

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition, alleging haphazard implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), and delay in payment of wages and compensation to labourers.

The petition, filed by RTI activist Aruna Roy, social activist Nikhil Dey and ex-civil servant Lalit Mathur, said the government had a pending liability of Rs. 3,200 crore in wages to be paid to workers. Issuing notice to the Centre, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu, acknowledged the submissions made by the RTI activist in her petition that it was time the government “woke up and started making prompt payments.”

“We have understood that this petition is about delay in wages and payment of compensation...we are issuing notice,” the Bench told advocates Prashant Bhushan and Neha Rathi, appearing for the petitioners.

The petition also sought setting up of independent social audit units and indexing wage rates for MGNREGS work at a rate higher than prescribed under the Minimum Wages Act.

Irregularities in the scheme had defeated the entire objective of securing livelihood for the people of rural India, the petition claimed.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 11:19:19 AM |

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