At least 1,13,86,599 bank account numbers are yet to be seeded with Aadhaar numbers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or MGNREGS, the rural development ministry told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The scheme guarantees 100 days of work for every rural household in the country and deletion of a worker from the rolls makes the person ineligible to work.
On February 1, the Centre had made it mandatory for all payments under the scheme to be made through an Aadhaar-based payment system. Earlier, the workers had the option to choose for a bank account-based payment.
The NREGA Sangarsh Morcha, a workers’ collective focused on the social security scheme, had said that it is quite difficult for the workers under MGNREGS to meet the requirements of the Aadhaar-based payment system.
“...The ABPS [Aadhaar-based payment system] is a complex, cumbersome and unreliable system that has caused severe problems in the last few years,” it had said. “There is no case for making it compulsory.”
Last week, the Centre said that no worker has been denied for the wage payment due to Aadhaar-based payment system. It also said that the deadline for workers to use the Aadhaar-based payment system for receiving wages has been extended till August 31.
However, last week the Centre had also told Parliament that it owes Rs 6,366 crore in dues to states and Union Territories under the scheme.
On Tuesday, the rural ministry also told Lok Sabha that Aadhaar seeding of job cards under MGNREGS to link the job cards of active workers is aimed to improve transparency, reduce duplication, and prevent misuse of job cards by ensuring that benefits reach to the intended beneficiaries.
It also said that 33.23 lakh job cards have been deleted in the current financial year till August 3. The highest number of job cards were deleted in Assam (17,85,939) followed by Madhya Pradesh (8,81,206) and Bihar (8,38,596).
Job cards of 1,49,51,247 workers had been deleted in 2021-’22 while in 2022-’23 the figure was 5,18,91,168. The reasons for deletion included fake, duplicate or incorrect job card, not willing to work, family shifting from Gram Panchayat permanently and single person in job card or the person is deceased.