The Union Minister, while talking to reporters here at the Dhanbad Circuit House, expressed concern over execution of MNREGA scheme in Bihar and Jharkhand and said both states have failed to utilise the MNREGA funds properly.

Kushwaha said he was considering giving additional funds to Jharkhand and Bihar for MNREGA projects, but both state governments had not utilised the already allocated funds.

He warned of deducting additional expenditure of funds to be made as late payment compensation to MNREGA workers from the salary of state government officials.     

As per rules, if MNREGA workers do not get their remuneration within 15 days of completing the work, the state government would have to compensate late payment with additional 10 per cent of the remuneration, the Minister said.

When the Minister's attention was drawn towards non-payment of MNREGA staff and officials in Jharkhand for the past nine months, Kushwaha said, "Had there been a scarcity of resources, we would have accepted the helplessness of the state government in making payments to staff and officials.

"But this is a different story. The state government has no dearth of funds. It is just not interested in utilising it."

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