Home Andhra Pradesh ‘A.P. has overspent its NREGA fund allocation’

‘A.P. has overspent its NREGA fund allocation’

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Andhra Pradesh has an overdraft of ₹2,808.7 crore in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the State.

Out of the original allocation of ₹6,271.7 crore for the current year, the Centre has released ₹4,571.2 crore so far but the State has already spent ₹7,379.9 crore.

“There is no amount left for the remaining part of this fiscal (2021-22) as the allocated budget has not only been exhausted, but overspent,” said G. Naveen Kumar, a researcher from LibTech India, an organisation that analysed and prepared a report using the data available in the public domain on “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act budget vs expenditure for the current financial year”.

LibTech India (Liberation Technology) is represented by a team of engineers, social workers and social scientists who work towards improving public service delivery. The period of study for the analysis of MGNREGA was from April to November 15, 2021. Mr. Naveen Kumar said the original allocation made to the State for implementation of the programme that provides livelihood to the rural sections was grossly inadequate and got exhausted within seven months of the financial year and “we have nearly five more months to go and for the remaining months, the State does not have any money left for implementation of the programme.”

The immediate question that comes to mind is how will the government meet the remaining expenditure.

“If we estimate similar employment as last year during the remaining four and a half months, the State will need additional allocation of 1,782.09 crore. But if we consider providing 100 days of work as guaranteed by the Act, the government will need additional funds to the tune of ₹9,203.26 crore. This includes wage, material and admin expenditure,” explained Buddha Chakradhar, director, LibTech, for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

‘Payments doubtful’

With no money left in the State coffers, he said, workers might not receive any more employment under the scheme till March 2022. “Moreover, they will have to wait to receive the ₹416 crore pending wages for the works already completed,” he said, adding that the situation could be averted if the Central government allocated the required additional funds and releases them immediately. Compared to the revised allocation for last year (2020-21), which was ₹10,365.5 crore, there is a cut of 39.5% for the current year. The programme continues to attract rural labourers pushed into distress due to the COVID-19 crisis.



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