After complaints, Centre set to prioritize wages for MGNREGS site supervisors

Source: The post is based on the articleAfter complaints, Centre set to prioritize wages for MGNREGS site supervisors” published in The Hindu on 3rd December 2022.

What is the News?

The Union Rural Development Ministry has devised a protocol to prioritize payment to Mates or site supervisors under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).

What are the issues site supervisors or mates are facing under MGNREGA?

Under MGNREGA, wages of unskilled workers are to be paid within 15 days and if there is a delay, the Centre has to compensate them. 

On the other hand, mates – who are the frontline supervisors of the MGNREGA programmes – are listed as semi-skilled workers because of the specialist nature of their job.

Their wages come from the “material component”, 60% of which is paid by the Union government. This component is now being released erratically, caught up in bureaucratic delays and chronic fund crunch. 

Owing to the delay, in many States, the Mates have started listing themselves as unskilled workers to get their wages on time.

What are the changes brought in by the government to address this delay in payments to mates?

Since Mate payments are made under the “material component”, often State governments clear the vendor bills related to the supply of raw materials for the construction before clearing Mates’ payments. 

Under the new system, State governments need to clear payments to Mates or supervisors before clearing vendor bills. It is also proposed that reports on day-wise pendency in payment to Mates may be generated.

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