New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi has written to the Prime Minister urging him to arrange advance payments for MNREGA workers in support of nearly eight crore rural workers in the country.
“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. The advance wages may be adjusted against the work to be done by the workers, once MGNREGA sites are opened,” Sonia said in her letter.
The Congress chief said since its inception, 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 that 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,” she said.
Therefore, social distancing norms have rendered all works unfeasible during the lockdown. Furthermore, even after the works commence, MGNREGA workers have to wait for more than a month to receive wages, she added.