A day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met state chief ministers, the central government has cleared the release of an additional Rs 10,000 crore for the rural employment guarantee scheme.
21 states had run out of funds in just the first 6 months of the current financial year.
The government has given an advance release of around Rs 10,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MNREGA). This is part of the overall demand that has been made by the rural development ministry from the finance ministry as additional allocation, and has been termed an advance.
The MNREGA website shows that out of a budget of around Rs 73,000 crore, Rs 67,000 crore has been spent so far. So, about Rs 6,000 crore still remains in the budget. Plus, the Rs 10,000 crore that's been cleared for release now.
CNBC-TV18 learns that the coming Supplementary in the winter session of parliament should have a further allocation for MNREGA. If it does not come through at that stage, then maybe on the day of the Budget, that money should come through.
There seems to be a large number of migrants in the rural areas, and hence, this money push has to be kept up. Also, a number of states have written to the central government, including to the prime minister, saying that funds are not released in a timely manner or that they have run out of funds. Hence, this is something that the centre is very, very cognizant about.
Also, most of the money with the MNREGA at the moment is being used to settle wages. The additional funds too, will be used for that purpose.
Watch the accompanying video of CNBC-TV18’s Sapna Das for more details.