mgnrega: MGNREGA Mamata will create a special fund to pay wages

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday suggested setting up a “crisis management fund”, hitting the Center over allegations of non-disclosure of funds in the state due to its inability to pay salaries to people working under the 100-day work scheme. He said the fund would be created with a portion of the money allocated in several departments.

“For the last four months, people are not getting their salaries under the 100-day work plan. The primary reason is that the center did not fund us. We did not get what we were supposed to get.

“As a result, the poor are facing a crisis … In this situation, I will ask the chief secretary to come up with a plan,” Banerjee said at an administrative review meeting in Kharagpur, West Midnapore district.

For now, a “crisis management fund” will be created with a portion of the funds allocated to departments such as public works, irrigation, agriculture, animal husbandry and panchayats, “he said.

The non-technical work of this department will be done through 100 days scheme.

“I don’t know when they (the central government) will release the funds. Let’s continue with this. I have already written to the Center on this,” he said.

Banerjee, referring to his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, sought his intervention to release funds for MGNREGA and PM Awas Yojana (PMAY) in the state.

During the meeting, the chief minister criticized the PWD for delaying the implementation of several projects – construction of two gates and a community hall here.

He asked the authorities to remove PWD from the projects and replace them with engineers from Howrah Improvement Trust and Hooghly River Bridge Commissioner (HRBC) to complete the work.

Complaining that the PWD was not functioning properly which resulted in cost overruns, he directed West Midnapore District Magistrate Rashmi Kamal to cancel the detailed project report (DPR) of the said projects.

Banerjee was shocked to learn that the project cost for construction of two gates and a community hall was Rs 32 crore as per DPR and said it should be completed within a budget of Rs 6 crore.

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