Payment of wages amounting to Rs 3,066 crore have been frozen in 19 states, and labourers have not been paid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for months till October 31, India Spend reported on Monday.
Since August 31, no wage payments were made in Haryana, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha – a group of several grassroots organisation – said, according to The Hindu Business Line. “Since the first week of September, no wage payments have been made in Karnataka and West Bengal; and for a month, no wage payments have been made in Kerala and Jharkhand, among other States,” the statement said.
Over 92 million labourers may have been affected, the organisation said.
According to MNREGA guidelines, workers must receive payments within 15 days of completing the job. If the labourers remain unpaid, they can seek compensation, which has to factor in the money owed to them during the duration of the delay. Last year, the government underestimated the compensation owed to workers for such delays by at least Rs 689 crore.
The morcha blamed “growing centralisation and technocracy” for the situation and called for immediate clearance of all payments.