New Delhi: In a bid to ensure that those employed under Mahatma Gandhi Nation Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) get their wages on time, the Central government has decided to penalise the states who delay in disbursing their wages.

The Union Rural Development Ministry has decided to amend the Mahatma Gandhi Nation Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to implement the order.

After the amendment, the state governments who delay the payment will ultimately have to pay damages. Besides, fees charged for opening bank accounts of workers will also be paid by the state governments.

The Central government has sent a detailed report to all the state governments regarding the amendments in the Act and advised them to follow it strictly. The Ministry has also laid thrust on the payment of daily wages through post offices.

Since many states have adopted negligent attitude towards timely payment, the amendments in the Act ensures that there should not be delay of more than 15 days in making payment to the workers.
Earlier this week, the Central government had a meeting with state governments regarding this issue.

Apart from this, the Central government has also cancelled the fee charged by banks for making payment. Each year banks deduct Rs 80 in return of making payments to the individual worker.
 The government has asked to stop the process with an immediate effect. Instead the state governments will pay the fee from the six percent of the amount earmarked under the scheme for administrative expenses.

The state governments have appealed concerned banks to send their representatives to Gram Sabha to clear 15 days payment so that workers get employment as per their feasibility and get their payment timely.

(JPN/Bureau)