Kochi: After successfully cornering the NDA government on Land Bill, Congress has decided to target the Narendra Modi-led dispensation in Parliament on the issue of implementation of rural job scheme MNREGA.
Congress whip in Lok Sabha K C Venugopal Sunday alleged that there had been a sharp decline in providing employment under the rural job scheme after the Narendra Modi government came to power and the issue will be raised in Parliament this week.
"There is an attempt by the Modi government to demolish MNREGA-a strong pro-poor structure built in the administration by the previous UPA government. We will raise the voice of the poor in Parliament on the issue," the former Union minister told PTI.
The Alappuzha MP said performance report of the MNREGA in the last fiscal prepared by the Rural Development Ministry has revealed that 13 crore job cards were issued for the Financial Year 2014-15 and the number of employment provided to households was just 3.60 crore, which is over one crore lesser than the previous year.
He said in its 'Report to the People', the Rural Development Ministry has clearly said that in the Financial Year 2013-14, when UPA was in power, 13.15 crore job cards were issued and 4.79 crore employment provided.
Venugopal said a decline in providing employment to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and women has also been reported in the Financial Year 2014-15.
When asked for his reaction, former Rural Development Minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told PTI that such a trend is happening because of the NDA government's "deliberate neglect" towards the MNREGA enacted by the UPA government in 2005.
Meanwhile, Delhi-based Right to Food Campaign said declining expenditure combined with rising costs has led to an even sharper decline in MNREGA employment.
"The number of person-days of work generated by MNREGA declined from 284 crore in 2009-10 to 155 crore in 2014-15 - a crash of close to 50 per cent in five years.If MNREGA employment declines by another 50 per cent in the next five years, nothing will be left of this programme," it said in a release.