State not utilising funds, says Joshi

Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj C.P. Joshi has accused the State government of underutilising the 100 per cent grants available for various components under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Inaugurating a one-day workshop on ‘Panchayats and 15 years of decentralised development,' organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies, a research body of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee here, Dr. Joshi said the Centre was providing 100 and 40 per cent of the funds to State governments for the labour and materials components under the MGNREGS. However, Kerala has utilised only 85 per cent of the funds for labour and 15 per cent for materials. “This means that the Kerala government has been making no contributions of its own to the prestigious programme,” he said.

He flayed the State government for indulging in a false propaganda about the minimum wages under the scheme. The minimum wages fixed for Kerala is Rs.125 and no change has been made to this amount fixed in 2006. Explaining the current position, Dr. Joshi said under Section 6(1) of the MGNREG Act, the government had to notify the minimum wages under the scheme. When it was launched in 2006, it was decided that the minimum wages existing in the respective States would be fixed for the scheme. In January 2009, the government notified Rs.100 as the uniform minimum wage in all States. But Kerala was allowed to retain the earlier rate, he said. “We have never changed the 2006 rates for Kerala, but the Left government ran a propaganda campaign. Congress workers should be wary of such propaganda.” Similarly, some of the Central schemes such as the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana are being projected as State schemes. The State government is thriving on the propaganda, but the Congress goes by programmes and policies, he said.

  • State accused of false propaganda on minimum wages
  • ‘Central schemes projected as State schemes'

Recommended for you