Shimla, Dec 14
The government has deprived about four lakh MNREGA workers in the state by withholding their due benefit without issuing any notification. These workers are getting such benefit since 2013 from HP Building & others construction workers welfare board. CITU President of Mandi district Bhupender Singh informed that in the matter, the unions had lodged a protest meeting on September 8,2022 seeking immediate release of due benefit.
Secretary cum CEO HP BOCW welfare board Dile Ram has issued letter on December 12, 2022 to all district Labour officers to send fresh claims of MNREGA workers pending since September 2022. Board alleged that claims were withheld of those MNREGA workers who could not complete 90 days work. Now it was decided that working days other than MNREGA to be included are minimum 90 days as employers would issue wage slip and certificate to support their claim.
It was since 2013 that UPA government decided to bring MNREGA under BOCW for giving benefits such as as scholarship to two children of workers from Rs 20K to 1.20 Lakh per Month, Rs five lakh Medical reimbursement to worker and family members, Pension of Rs 1000 after retirement, maternity benefit upto 1.80 lakh to pregnant workers and leave of six months and Free Washing Machine and others household articles to family members of workers, and more. Boards has a kitty of Rs 4000 Crore for the same.
The withholding of benefit to MNREGA workers is violation of labour laws as Union Government also provide assistance for welfare of workers. Bhupender Singh said that some political parties are trying to blame the new State government for stopping the benefit however it was previous one which withheld the claims of MNREGA workers.
He said that under MNREGA, the Government is bound to provide minimum jobs of 120 days to MNREGA workers however it was also brought down to 90 days, now.