Will pay 2.1 million Nrega workers soon: Mamata

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said her government will clear by February 21 the dues of 2.1 million workers who have not received wages under the central government’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

“Money of the MGNREGA workers, whose wages are due for the last two years, will reach their bank accounts by February 21,” Banerjee announced from the site of a protest in Kolkata.

Sources in Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress party told ET that the MGNREGA dues in the state till date stand at Rs 6,913 crore.

The chief minister was leading a protest in Kolkata against the central government’s delay in releasing wages and financial help under its rural employment guarantee scheme act (MGNREGA) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme.

“Our movement will continue over the dues from the Centre. The central government is thinking that they will deprive the people of Bengal of basic needs like food,” Banerjee said. “The state government will transfer the wages of 21 lakh workers to their bank accounts by February 21.”

She, however, did not mention from where the funds would be arranged. “It is people’s money and people will get it,” she said.

After a meeting with the MGNREGA workers, who were brought from the districts by Trinamool Congress to join the dharna programme, the chief minister announced, “We do not want to beg from BJP. By February 21, we will transfer money to the bank accounts of 21 lakh workers who did not get the money even working for three years for the 100 days’ work scheme for the last two years.”

Banerjee said that after the budget session, she will plan for the prospective beneficiaries of the PM Awas Yojana scheme who have not received money for their houses.

jayatri.nag@timesgroup.com

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Harry Byrne

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