The Government of India is yet to release the additional Rs 6,084 crore for NREGA “promised” on January 15, 2019. Pointing this out, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, in a statement, has said, the promise came after several MPs activists, former bureaucrats, academics and leaders of farmers’ movements wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister to highlight the chronic underfunding of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). 


By the end of December, the statement said, 99 per cent of the central government’s NREGA fund for 2018-19 was exhausted. “Within a few days of this letter, the Central government announced a supplementary budget of Rs 6,084 crore for the ongoing financial year. This increased the total NREGA budget allocation for the 2018-19 to Rs 61,084 crore”, which was “too little, too late.” 


The statement further said, “According to the official NREGA website (nrega.nic.in), the total central release so far is only Rs 53,353 crore. Including the state share, the total availability of funds is Rs 59,709 crore, whereas the total expenditure so far is Rs 63,537 crore.” 


It added, “Thus, there is a deficit of Rs 3,828 crore. On January 25, 2019, Jharkhand Government wrote to the Ministry to request for additional funds to clear a liability of Rs 39 crore. The letter also mentions that no funds have been released for last two days (i.e. January 24-25, 2019)”. 
Demanding immediate release of the funds, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha said, the Government of India should also ensure clearance of “pending liabilities” and “adequate funds for the remaining two months of the financial year.”

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