AP Assembly Adjourns For Monday After Protest By YSR Congress

DARA GOPI

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh Assembly was adjourned to meet on Monday after the YSR Congress leaders held protest against dilution of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

The YSR Congress leaders raised objection to the State government diluting the scheme and increasing material component of the scheme. Leader of Opposition Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy alleged that the government had reduced the labour component of the scheme and increased the material component. He said that the government was investing more funds from the MNREGS on roads and buildings for the gram panchayats rather than providing number of wage days to the workers. The labour component which was 97.5 during late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy’s tenure as Chief Minister had now come down alarmingly to 25 per cent. This had rendered hundreds of laboruers jobless in the State and regretted that the workers have migrated to Kerala and Karnataka States where they were begging on the streets.

While welcoming the government to create assets like roads, Anganwadi, hospital and gram panchayat buildings in the villages, he condemned the government’s action of using 75 per cent of the MNREGS funds for procurement of material for these works leaving 25 per cent funds for wages. This had left the workers jobless, he said regretted that the government had defeated the purpose of the MNREGS.

Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the plight of the workers who have migrated to other States in search of work was reported in the media recently and wanted the government to open its eyes. He discounted the claims of the government in creating man days in the villages under the MNREGS and creating assets.

Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, while intervening in the discussion welcomed the government’s decision of creating assets in the villages using the MNREGS funds. He said that the scheme would help the villages to have their own assets like hospitals, community halls, roads and other public utilities.

Minister for Panchayat Raj Ch Ayyanna Pathrudu said that the government was giving priority to provide work for the labourers keeping in view the prevailing drought in the State. He discounted the charges of Jagan Mohan Reddy on the implementation of the MNREGS in the State and said that Andhra Pradesh had emerged as the best in utilizing the MNREGS funds. He said only during late Rajasekhar Reddy’s time the government could not utilize funds and a huge amount was returned to the Center. He sought to advise the Leader of Opposition to study the implementation of the scheme before making a statement on it.

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