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NREGA a role model but needs improvement: Sonia

New Delhi, Feb 2 (Calcutta Tube) Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Tuesday that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was a ‘role model’ for other developments schemes and had given jobs to lakhs of rural people. However, it can be improved by addressing complaints of false job cards and less payment of wages.

Speaking at the `MGREGA Sameelan’ organised by the rural development ministry to mark four years of the government’s flagship programme, she said the welfare initiative was a ‘role model’ for other development schemes but suffered from some problems.

‘Good work has been done under NREGA but problems are there. We should not just sit with satisfaction over the achievements,’ she said .

Identifying the problems in implementation of MGNREGA, she said false job cards, improper coverage and less payment of wages were among the areas which needed more attention of authorities.

She added there were gaps in acknowledgement of demand for work and in payment of employment allowance.

Sonia Gandhi said that MGNREGA had provided direct employment to lakhs of people in rural India and had helped in their financial inclusion through bank and post office accounts.

She said panchayati raj institutions had also been strengthened through the ambitious programme.

NREGA was launched from Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh in 2006 to provide every rural household a guarantee of at least 100 days of manual work during a financial year.

The programme now covers all districts of the country. The government later added Mahatma Gandhi’s name to the programme following complaints that some opposition ruled states were passing it off as their own welfare measure.

Indo-Asian News Service

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