(News) Bundelkhand: NREGA workers to get their wages at their doorstep

Bundelkhand NREGA workers to get their wages at their doorstep

With elections round the corner, the Uttar Pradesh Government has woken up to the need for reforms in MGNREGA. And it has started the process by bringing around 10 lakh workers in Bundelkhand under a new system of financial inclusion under which they would be able to get their wages at their doorstep through business correspondents.

The workers will be issued smart cards for wage disbursement. The business correspondents will carry hand-held devices, connected with finger-print readers, on which these cards can be swiped for drawing money.

A pilot project was launched in 10 villages each in Andhra Pradesh, UP, Bihar, Kerala and Orissa last year on instructions from the Government of India. In UP, all 10 villages are in Unnao district and the pilot project has been successful.

But no state had taken it forward for implementation on a large scale. The UP government wants to first introduce the system in Jhansi district and then move on to other districts of Bundelkhand region — Banda, Mahoba, Chitrakoot, Lalitpur, Hamirpur and Jalaun — in a phased manner.

In Jhansi, about 1.5 lakh workers in 437 gram panchayats will be covered. The total number of MGNREGA job card holders in Bundelkhand is around 10 lakh.

The Department of Rural Development has floated expression of interest for interested banks and institutions to implement the task. Two banks, Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank, have shown interest and the state government is now planning to float request for qualification soon.

Once the system is introduced, MGNREGA workers would not have to stand in queues at banks to draw their wages. Instead, bank correspondents would visit them.

Using smart cards, workers would be able to file their demand for work on the site, get receipt against this demand, register their attendance at work site and draw wages at their doorstep.

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Courtesy: expressindia.com