Congress President Sonia Gandhi. File photo
Congress President Sonia Gandhi. File photo

Sonia writes to PM for release advance payment to MGNREGA workers, says 8 crore rural people need support

ANI | Updated: Apr 01, 2020 17:08 IST

New Delhi [India], April 1 (ANI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to initiate action for release of advance payment to MGNREGA workers due to lockdown saying nearly eight crore rural workers in the country need support from the government.
In her letter, Gandhi said that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has been a critical lifeline for the rural poor, particularly during periods of chronic economic distress.
She said lakhs of agricultural workers have been left unemployed during the crucial harvesting season.
"Devoid of an alternative source of income, an increasingly large number of the rural poor are expected to demand work under MGNREGA. However, social distancing norms have rendered all works unfeasible during the lockdown," she said.
Gandhi said even after the works commence, MGNREGA workers have to wait for more than a month to receive wages.

"Given the urgency of providing income support to the rural poor, due to lost wages, the government may consider immediate advance payment of wages for 21 days to registered and active MGNREGA workers," she said.
Gandhi said the advance wages may be adjusted against the work to be done by the workers, once MGNREGA sites are opened up.
"I request you to take immediate action and extend support to nearly eight crore rural workers in the country," she said.
MGNREGA was enacted by the Congress-led UPA government.
As part of measures to provide relief to the poor in the battle against coronavirus, the government had announced that MGNREGA wages would be increased by Rs 20 with effect from April 1, 2020. The wage increase will provide an additional Rs 2,000 benefit annually to a worker.
A three-week lockdown was announced on Tuesday last as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronaviurs. (ANI)