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AJKPC holds protest against biometric attendance of MGNREGA workers
1/9/2023 12:29:48 AM

Early Times Report

Jammu, Jan 8: Local Panches and Sarpanches of over 15 Panchayats of block Dansal today held a strong protest here in Panchayat Halqa Jindrah under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference against the recent guidelines of the Union Ministry of Rural Development, wherein it has been asked by the union government that the labour engaged under MGNREGA shall made compulsory biometric attendance twice a day i.e. in the morning and evening. Raising slogans against the union government, the Protesting elected Panchayat members termed the decision of holding bio-metric attendance of the workers twice a day as conspiracy to fail the MGNREGA scheme which is providing livelihood to millions of rural population at door steps. They said the government instead of clearing the pending wages and releasing the MGNREGA dues under Material Component have now issued this diktat which is unacceptable because of obvious technical & practical reasons. Anil Sharma, the President of the AJKPC and Sarpanch of the Panchayat Halqa Jindrah informed that elected PRIs are full supportive of the inception of the technology to ensure transparency in the system and to eradicate corruption but the order of the union government to hold bio-metric attendance is not practically possible as there are over 4000 Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir spreading over far off places and in border areas and more than half of these Panchayat headquarters even do not have even electricity forget mobile and internet connectivity. If this is the fate of Panchayat Headquarters then one can easily understand the situation in wards and other villages of the Panchayts, Sharma argued. The AJKPC President also stated that already the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Development Department is under staff and one GRS/Panchayat Secretary/TA tecnical assistant is holding charge of 5 to 6 Panchayats so it is impossible that anyone can get the attendance of these MGNREGA workers twice a day moreover the difficult terrain of J&K makes things further difficult to hold such exercise. The protesting PRI members threatened the government to roll back this anti-Labour decision otherwise they would come on roads to seek justice. They also appealed the government to immediately release the pending installments of the finance commissions that are due to the Panchayats. They further demanded enhancement of the existing daily wage of MGNREGA labour from Rs 227 per day to minimum Rs 350 per day keeping in view, the existing rate of inflation.
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