**Bhubaneswar: ** Odisha Panchayati Raj Minister on Thursday complained that the Central Government has been neglecting the State as Rs 1970.53 crore meant for implementation of the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is pending till date since 2014 fiscal year.
In his media reactions, Panchayati Raj Minister Pradeep Maharathy said, “The Central Government is neglecting the State so far the release of funds meant for MGNREGS is concerned. Due to inordinate delay in allocating the required grant, developmental works are being affected.”
“As you know, the State is being ruled by BJD and has no BJP Government here for which the BJP-led Central Government is deliberately harassing us,” he burst.
On being reminded that Dharmendra Pradhan is always claiming that their Government at Centre is laying stress on the State here, the senior BJD leader replied, “I can cite before you documentary evidence. I dare Dharmendra Babu to first enter into a debate with me before throwing challenge onto Naveen Patnaik.”
Putting forth documentary evidence, the Odisha Panchayati Raj Minister claimed that against the earmarked Rs 1650.93 crore for 2014-15 towards implementation of MGNREGS in the State here, Rs 1035.30 crore was received. Similarly, in 2015-16, against Rs 2102.78 crore, Centre released Rs 1479.41 crore, while against Rs 2213.28 crore in 2016-17, Rs 1895.27 crore was received and in 2017-18 till October, Rs 1424.62 crore has been received against the required Rs 1424.62 crore.
The Minister also informed that the Odisha Government has formed Rs 300 corpus fund for paying the MGNREGS beneficiaries wages within 15 days. Even though the Centre’s guideline in this respect has been sought, it is also yet to be received by the State Government here.
As the State Government needs to address the present drought situation in various parts here through MGNREGS, the Central Government has been urged to release the balance amount of Rs 413.51 crore and also the second dose of the funds meant for the current fiscal year, he stated.
On the contrary, BJP’s counter on the Panchayati Raj Minister’s allegations could not be availed despite efforts.