Accusing the NDA government at the Center of inordinately delaying release of funds under various welfare schemes, Bihar government on Thursday urged the former to immediately release Rs 2000 crore pending for MGNREGA, and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY-Gramin) to the state without delay.
The state government contends that it has been footing the bill on its own ”to manage the situation.” While concluding the debate on the state’s rural welfare department for the year 2023-24 in the assembly on Thursday, Bihar Rural Development minister Shrawan Kumar said, “Despite repeated requests by the Bihar government, the BJP-led Central government is not releasing its shares of funds to the state government. The Center should immediately release funds for the uninterrupted implementation of the PMAY-G scheme and payment to labourers engaged by the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)”.
The Minister added, “The state government recently released a huge amount from its own funds to manage the situation. The Center is supposed to release at least Rs. 2000 crore of its share to Bihar for MNREGA and the PMAY-G projects. The BJP government at the Center is playing politics over schemes”.
The state government has so far provided houses to 34.31 lakh beneficiaries in the rural areas in the state under the PMAY-G, he added.
Launched by the union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in June 2015, the PMAY-G is a flagship program of the Central Government in its mission to provide affordable housing for all. It’s aim is to provide ”pucca” houses to the rural poor with all basic facilities including a hygienic kitchen to those living in mu or wooden houses. The assembly passed the state’s Rural department budget of Rs. 1545.21 crore, for the year 2023-24 by voice vote. The BJP MLAs, however, staged a walkout over the government’s alleged inaction in curbing corruption in the offices of the rural department in the state.