Tripura tops rural jobs scheme

Agartala, July 22 (IANS) Tripura attained the first position in implementing the central government’s flagship rural jobs scheme during fiscal 2009-10, a state minister Thursday said.

‘Tripura has provided 82 days of work in 2009-10 financial year out of promised 100 days of waged employment to the people residing in the rural areas against the national average of 54 days,’ Rural Development Minister Jitendra Choudhury told reporters, citing the performance evaluation report of the central rural development ministry released last week.

The report evaluated the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) during 2009-10.

According to the minister, another northeastern state, Sikkim, secured the second position by providing 80 days of work to the rural poor in the state, followed by Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

The performance evaluation report also revealed that Tripura has not only provided the highest employment to the poor people but also created huge assets in the rural areas through the scheme, Choudhury said.

The minister, however, regretted over the delay in releasing of funds to the state governments under the scheme.

‘The union rural development ministry had allocated Rs.957 crore (to Tripura) for 2009-10 but the state government has received Rs.725 crore after a lot of persuasion,’ he said.

Choudhury said that Tripura has so far got Rs 400 crore against the sanctioned outlay of Rs 1,049 crore for the current financial year.

‘Tripura could have done much better performance if the centre released the sanctioned funds for the MGNREGA in time.’

The MGNREGA, enacted Aug 25, 2005, provides a legal guarantee for 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related, unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage of Rs.100 per day.

The central government’s outlay for the scheme was Rs.39,100 crore in 2009-10.

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