State yet to disburse Rs 242.75 cr MGNREGA fund: NPRAAF

State yet to disburse Rs 242.75 cr MGNREGA fund: NPRAAF
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‘Govt issues order to freeze bank account of job card holders’

Dimapur, April 24: The Union Ministry of Rural Development has released Rs 242.75 crores as first installment under MGNREGA to the State of Nagaland on April 8 for development of Nagaland villages during 2019-20. The money, however, is yet to be given to job card holders in the State and is still lying in the State Finance Department.
According to the NPRAAF, the money should be deposited in the bank account of job card holders by Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs). There are about 1,26,000 job card holders in Nagaland.
In a statement, NPRAAF expressed surprise that the Government of Nagaland had recently issued an order No.RD/MGNREGA/LB-1/2019, Dated 18/04/2019 directing all Project Directors/BDOs to freeze all job card holders bank accounts by 30th April 2019 even before the sanctioned amount is disbursed to the beneficiaries in the name of transferring the benefit by DBTs. The order warned that fund will be held up to those district, who fail to comply with the instruction.
NPRAAF questioned if the Government freezes the bank account of the job card holders, which was opened with much difficulty with the purpose of receiving cash transferred to their personal bank account, what alternative arrangement has the Government made to transfer the cash to the beneficiaries? Unless the Government clarifies, the decision of the State Government will remain ambiguous and puzzling, it stated.
According to NPRAAF, the beneficiaries were made to believe that only after freezing the bank account they will receive their due share of daily wage from the Government of India. “However, it must be understood that, the term, account freeze is an action taken by a bank or brokerage that prevents any transactions from occurring in the account typically, any open transaction will be canceled, and checks presented on frozen account will not be honored. It will be unfair to misinterpret the ministry guidelines the gullible job card holders,” it said.
Asking the State Government not to freeze the bank account of the job card holders before receiving the daily wage from the Government of India, which is sole income for many household of the rural people for better economic life, the NPRAAF appealed to the Government of Nagaland to immediately disburse the amount to the legitimate job card holders without delay and implement MGNREGA as per GoI guidelines.
The MGNREGA was initiated by the Government of India with the objective of “enhancing livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year, to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.” The benefits of MGNREGA are to create assets for the poor villagers by better connectivity and developing the basic livelihood resource base of the rural poor. MGNREGA aims to provide schemes which in turn provide opportunity to work for the adults of a family to do unskilled work at a minimum payout of Rs 192 per day.
NPRAAF warned that it will not remain mute spectator but will take appropriate steps if the legitimate job card holders are deprived of their due benefits.
(Page News Service)