Imphal, May 20:
A press statement released by Convenor of the Committee Against the Gross Misappropriation of MGNREGS fund for Tulihal Gram Panchayat alleged that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme is becoming a flop show in Manipur now, and MGNREGS workers of Tulihal Gram Panchayat which falls under the keirao Bitra block of Imphal East District are not given their due wages from a very long time. The poors are facing the maximum brunt of this. The MGNREGS was launched to employ the jobless people of the rural areas of India so that they can sustain their lives on their own.
However, in Tulihal Gram Panchayat rather than fulfilling the objectives of the Schemes by the local government, it is becoming a money minting site for the elected members of the Panchayati Raj institutions and the local government. In contrast to the guidelines of MGNREGS, the members of the Gram Panchayat namely-Zilla Parishad- Inaocha Kongbam, Pradhan -Md Khallique Khullakpam and the ward members of each ward are subjugating the working-class people and violating the rights of the workers. It is also been alleged that a share of the MGNREGs called Line department is siphoned off completely by the terminated erstwhile MLA and Minister Th. Shyamkumar.
The wages of the financial year 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-20 has not been credited to the worker’s account. Rather than crediting the due wages to the worker’s account, it is suspected that the funds are siphoned off with the indulgence of all the members of Gram Panchayat, officials of the bank, and other government officials like Program Officer and Block Development Officer. Most of the people who are suffering include Women, aged people, and illiterate peoples. When the world is shut down due to the Pandemic Covid19 and the poor people are facing a hard life due to loss of job and the shutdown of workplaces, people are in good hope that if the wages are disbursed on time it would give some sort of solace to them.
When the request of the workers to distribute the wages is not heard for the several times the people of the Panchayat hold a meeting and formed a committee named, Committee Against the Gross Misappropriation of MGNREGS fund for Tulihal Gram Panchayat on the first week of May to deal with the issue. The committee had a series of meetings with the members of The Panchayat Including the Zilla Parishad, Pradhan, and the ward members, in a meeting held on 3rd may at a public park they all admit themselves that, a big flaw is there in the utilization of the funds and the system too.
They also showed their readiness to rectify the faulty system. The relese also states that in another meeting held on 16th may between the committee and a brother of the Pradhan Md Azad khan (Rifleman, Manipur Rifle, Government of Manipur) along with the workers, Mr. Azad also signed an agreement stating that the withdrawn wages will be reimbursed from 18th of May and the due wages are to be credited in the workers account. However, the agreement is not putting into practice from the Pradhan’s side, disrespecting the working class and the community people and demanded that violation of rights of underprivileged and the workers by the elected members masking themselves as a messiah or a savior should be punished accordingly. The committee also drew the attention of the government and the authorities so that the workers get their due wages and also demanded that if the wages are not distributed and the norms of MGNREGS are not followed stern actions will be taken up.
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