The Centre plans to rollout payments to almost 88 to 90 percent active MGNREGS workers under the mandatory Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS) by June-end. According to the Union ministry of rural development, the deadline to make workers registered under the national employment guarantee scheme a part of the payment system will end on June 30. The Centre is looking to make ABPS implementation mandatory for settling wages under MGNREGS from July 1.
The Union ministry has so far has about 74.9 percent active workers marked under the scheme and eligible for the payment system, the government data shows. Meanwhile, the Union ministry of rural development has asked the state government’s to arrange camps and maintain contact with beneficiaries in order to achieve complete coverage under the ABPS. The Centre has issued clear instructions that the beneficiaries should be asked to provide their Aadhaar number, however, they should not be denied work if they don’t have one.
As per the latest government data a total of 1,491,848 workers need to be registered under the ABPS every day in order to meet the deadline of June 30. In many states this number is falling short of targets, the government dashboard has labeled such stated as ‘lagging’ in terms of daily data updates.
At present Meghalaya has only 3.1 percent of its active Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers eligible for ABPS. Nagaland has 20.5 percent of eligible workers, Assam has 34.8 percent, Arunachal Pradesh has 54.7 percent, and Gujarat has 56.9 percent.
Lakshadweep, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Madhya Pradesh are among the states and Union territories (UTs) where less than 70 percent of active MGNREGS workers are eligible for ABPS. The Centre meanwhile maintains that work is underway, and they anticipate that 88 to 90 percent of active MGNREGS workers will be covered by the end of this month.
The government data shows out of the total 14.28 crore active beneficiaries, Aadhaar has been linked to 13.75 crore individuals. Among these linked Aadhaar numbers, a total of 12.17 crore have been authenticated, making 77.81 percent of them eligible for ABPS.
Last month in May, approximately 88 percent of wage payments were made through ABPS, as reported by the Union government. The MGNREGS is a flagship government initiative that aims to improve the livelihood security of rural households by providing a minimum of 100 days of guaranteed wage employment per financial year to willing adult members for unskilled manual work.