The Union government owes more than Rs 8,305 crore to states and Union Territories in payments under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, official data shows, as of Wednesday.

The bulk of the dues is under the head of payments towards material costs, which amounts to Rs 7,306.53 crore. The Centre also owes Rs 649.69 crore as wages for unskilled labour, and Rs 349.12 crore in administrative costs.

Among states, the Centre owes the highest amount to Uttar Pradesh (Rs 1,711.54 crore) followed by Andhra Pradesh (Rs 1,005.31 crore) and West Bengal (Rs 664.31 crore).

Since December 2021, the Centre has not been allotting funds under the Act to West Bengal, citing violations in the implementation of the scheme by the state government.

A report released by Delhi-based non-profit organisation LibTech showed that Rs 2,744 crore were due as payments to workers since December 26, 2021. “Workers lost about Rs 3,891 Cr to Rs 6,046 Cr in the form of wages during the current year due to stoppage of NREGA works,” the report said.

The figure of Rs 3,891 crore was calculated on the basis of wages paid in pre-coronavirus years, while on the basis of wages paid during pandemic years, the number would be Rs 6,046 crore.

Meanwhile, the Centre’s data showed that Mizoram provided the highest number of employment days per household (70.71), followed by Tripura (49.14) and Ladakh (45.89). The average number of days for which work under the MGNREGA was provided across the country was 40.19 across the country.