Activists want adequate fund for MGNREGA

Activists want adequate fund for MGNREGA

Seek budget estimations and allocations to the scheme

Activists want adequate fund for MGNREGA

Over 100 prominent citizens, academicians, economists, editors, social activists and artists, have written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, urging him to accord the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) programme the highest priority.

An open letter addressed to Jaitley on providing time bound and adequate budgetary support to the MGNREGA has been signed by personalities like Aruna Roy,  Girish Karnad, N Ram, Nirmala Laxman, Jayati Ghosh, Abhijit Sen, T M Krishna, Shailesh Gandhi, E A S Sarma, Romila Thapar, Kuldip Nayar, Achin Vanaik, and Jean Dreze among others.

The letter was handed over to the finance minister and the Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on Tuesday.  The letter has demanded Rs 5,000 crore for the remaining three months of Financial Year 2015-16 keeping in view the immediate requirement.

 The letter has asked that the amount should be made available to the Ministry of Rural Development immediately.

The letter has also said that subsequent Budget estimations and allocations to the programme must be brought in line with inflation and  be measured and maintained as a percentage of share of GDP.

“Given the overwhelming concern and an across-the board acknowledgement that rural distress is at an all time-high , it is imperative that a programme like the MGNREGA be given the budgetary support that it is entitled to and as mandated under the law,” said noted social activist Aruna Roy.

 She stressed that the drought this year has again revealed to the government the usefulness of the programme. The open letter says that adequate funds is mandated by the law.