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Tripura CM asks PM to restore MGNREGA funds for State

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, Nov 4 (IANS): Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restore the funds cut from MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) rural employment scheme in the state.

"The union rural development ministry has increased its allocation of funds under MGNREGA for Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and some other states but reduced central allocation for Tripura," Sarkar said in a letter to the prime minister.

He said that although Tripura under MGNREGA topped all states, providing 87 days of work per household in the 2013-14 fiscal against the national average of 45 person-days, the state's allocation had been sharply reduced.

"Tripura received Rs 943.66 crore during the last financial year (2013-14). The union rural development ministry informed that it would provide Rs.652 crore during the current fiscal (2014-15) despite the ministry having approved the labour budget of Rs.1,406.96 crore under the MGNREGA for the ongoing financial year."

In his letter Sarkar said that under MGNREGA guidelines, the central allocation would have to be released in two instalments, but the Union ministry has so far provided Rs.373 crore in three instalments.

The chief minister said that the unemployed and uneducated rural people from among tribals, minorities, scheduled caste, other backward communities and women would be largely affected due to the reduction of funds under MGNREGA.

The MGNREGA mandates 100 days of employment in a financial year to at least one member of each rural household.

According to Tripura rural development officials, the state has retained the top position for the fifth consecutive year by providing 87 person-days rural jobs per household during the 2013-14 fiscal.

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