Panchayat representatives, MGNREGS job card holders intensify agitation

Imphal: Members of Panchayati Raj Institution and MGNREGS job card holders have intensified their agitation demanding release of wages of job card holders, release of second installment funds of 15th Finance Commission monthly salary from October 2019 to till March and implementation of national electronic fund management system.

Panchayat elected members and job card holders have carried out protest demonstrations in all the valley districts of Manipur.

Manipur State Panchayat Parishad announced a state-wide 48 hours shutdown with effect from Tuesday midnight.

It also boycotts the National Panchayati Raj Day, which falls on April 24.

ZP member Seram Neken Singh had recently written a letter to the Union minister for rural development complaining about the non-payment of honorarium of Zilla Parishads, Pradhans and members.

Neken, member, 14-Uchekon Nongchup Zilla Parishad, said the honorarium has not been paid for all the 60 ZPs, 161 Pradhans and 1127 Ward members since October 2019.

He also complained about wages of job card holders under MGNREGS not being released.

He appealed the ministry to direct the state government to pay the required honorarium and wages at the earliest.

The Panchayat members and job card holders of Imphal East district staged a protest demonstration at Imphal East DC gate under the banner of Manipur State Panchayat Parishad on Tuesday.

The protestor marched a rally from DC, Imphal East towards office quarter of RD minister, Th. Biswajit Singh located near Sanjenthong, Imphal East.

Police block the rally at palace gate and 20 representatives were allowed to meet the minister.

Pradhan of Khurai Khaidem Leikai Gram Panchayat Mukta Rajkumari alleged the state government of holding back MGNREGS funds, already released by the Centre and failure of paying salary for Panchayat elected members for the past 16 months.

She said job card holders, who are unaware that the state government held back the fund, are assuming that GP Pradhan and members have misappropriated their wages.

Job card holder Kh. Sofia said the job cards holders are from poor families and asked how development can be brought when the wages are not released.

Members of Panchayati Raj Institution, Imphal West carried out protest rally at Imphal West DC gate. They locked the office of the deputy commissioner for disruption of their peaceful protest demonstration.

District administration reportedly told the protestors to carry out their sit-in not beyond noon. But as they continued beyond the stipulated time the district administration tried to end the demonstration using state force which led to scuffle.

The protestors condemned the state government for ‘holding of above Rs 569 crore meant for MGNREGS sanctioned by the Centre’.
Rural development and Panchayati Raj minister Thongam Biswajit on April 28 urged the state Panchayat Parishad members to withdraw their agitation.

The minister had said a proposal has been sent to the finance department to release the sanctioned amount of Rs 569.16 crore under MGNREGS.
He said the sanctioned amount had already been credited in the state account on March 23.

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