SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) and former legislator Abdul Rahim Rather on Friday reiterated his demand to release the pending bills of workers who were engaged under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) works and are waiting for their wages for the last many years.

In a statement issued here, Rather expressed dismay over delay in implementation of government’s announcements with regard to clearance of bills and an early resumption of various works to be carried out under MGNREGA.

“The administration seems yet to be unaware about the government announcements. With the result the hapless and underprivileged sections of the society whose livelihood depends on these works are suffering immensely,” he added.

The JKAP leader remarked that NREGA works should involve more and more people belonging to economically downtrodden sections in order to give an impetus to rural economy. “The poor daily wagers would get an opportunity to earn a dignified livelihood if the NREGA works are restarted at an earliest. But these works should cover the untouched areas and the people who are yet to get benefitted by this scheme,” he demanded.

The JKAP leader said that the payment of wages and material of such works, which stand executed since years back, have not been released and the same needs to be disbursed on priority in view of the prevailing hard times for the economically poor families.

“As the MGNREGA works are carried out mostly by economically downtrodden sections of the society, making them to suffer for want of release of their dues is a sheer injustice with them,” Rather remarked.

Emphasising the need for clearance of pending NREGA bills, Rather urged the Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu to intervene into the matter and address the suffering of workers who are waiting for their wages for the last many years across Jammu and Kashmir.

“The J&K government should give a positive consideration to the genuine claims of the hapless MGNREGA workers who are finding it very difficult to fight the battle against COVID-19 pandemic in absence of any financial resources,” Rather demanded. 

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