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Demonetisation: three fold spike in MGNREGA; Ministry may ask for more funds

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MGNREGA

New Delhi, January 9: There is no official word if PM Modi led demonetisation has ceased black money in the system, countered terrorism attempts or made any significant addition to the economy, however reports of job loss and shut down are rampant ever since noteban was announced. Though manufacturing, investment proposals, and consumption has been significantly hurt in all industries, Small and Medium businesses have burnt the maximum toll.

As a result, steep fall in temporary employment opportunities is visibile.

The best indicator of the above statement is a record 60% increase in MGNREGA in December as compared to the average of previous months.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or MGNREGA is a flagship social security program that was run by UPA in 2006 and is now one of the best indicators to monitor rural distress in the country. The sudden spike in MGNREGA on site work is clearly due to job loss of migrant labourers due to the cash constraints following demonetisation.

Records from the Ministry of Rural Development, show that between July and November 2016, the average labourer turnout per day under MGNREGA was 30 lakh, while in December the average numbers went up to 50 lakh per day. On January 7, 2017, the labour turnout for the day was as high as 83.60 lakh which is three times the daily pre-demonetisation average of 30 lakh. The official who reported the data said that it is expected to touch 1 crore soon.

Last time, MGNREGA numbers were higher between April and June when monsoon were delayed, and drought-like conditions prevailed in the many parts of India. Looking at MGNREGA numbers, you can access the situation of rural stress in the country said the official.

He further added, these figures in rural areas can be attributed to reverse employment for informal workers employed in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. For, MNREGA is the employment guarantee scheme of 100 days. Failing to provide the employment, the government offers employment allowance to the family.

According to official stats, more than 85% of the Rs 47,500 crore outlay for MGNREGA has already been spent this year. The Rural Development Ministry is expected to write to the Finance Ministry, asking for an additional Rs 8,000 crore so that the scheme could run smoothly until the end of the current fiscal.

Social activist Nikhil Dey of the Rajasthan-based Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan said, post-demonetisation, demand for work under MGNREGA could have been even greater had the government made that much of work available.We recently had a public hearing in Beawar in Ajmer where it emerged that half of the 600 factories had shut, and the rest were running at half their capacity. In such a scenario, those coming from rural areas looking for jobs have no option but to go back to their villages and seek jobs under MGNREGA,” Dey said.

While no official figures have been released on the impact of demonetisation on MSMEs, according to D L Sachdeva, who is national secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress: Over 40% of workers were rendered jobless in the immediate aftermath of the move. And this has led to a major reverse migration. The job loss in these small and medium enterprises could be temporary, but the situation has not normalised yet.

Wefornews Bureau

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India

Vacant pvt medical college seats can be filled as per NEET merit list: SC

The ASG and MCI’s counsel assured the apex court that its order would be forthwith published on the official websites of MCI, Medical Counselling Committee and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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New Delhi, May 25 : The Supreme Court today agreed to suggestions that the vacant post-graduate seats in private unaided medical colleges could be filled up as per the order of merit in the All-India National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) list.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra said this while hearing a matter of Uttar Pradesh during which the Medical Council of India (MCI) said that almost 41.95 per cent of post-graduate medical seats for academic year 2018-2019 in private unaided medical colleges in the state have remained vacant.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who appeared for the Centre, suggested to the bench that “a similar dispensation can be followed in other states, if they so desire, while ensuring that the cut-off date of May 31, 2018 is strictly adhered to”.

“We agree with this suggestion,” the bench said and disposed of the plea filed by the UP unaided medical colleges welfare association.

The ASG and MCI’s counsel assured the apex court that its order would be forthwith published on the official websites of MCI, Medical Counselling Committee and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Earlier during the hearing, the MCI counsel told the bench that since the cut-off date of May 18 was already over, the Director General of Medical Education of Uttar Pradesh must take the responsibility of allotting the seats to students from the NEET merit list in respective colleges by May 31.

“We find this suggestion to be most appropriate and also assuage the grievance of the private medical colleges and open up new opportunity to the aspiring candidates in the merit list who otherwise could not secure admission in other medical colleges,” the bench noted in its order.

The top court accepted the MCI’s suggestions and asked the Director General of Medical Education of Uttar Pradesh to take immediate steps in this regard while ensuring that the cut-off date of May 31, 2018 was adhered to in its letter and spirit.

The bench also made it clear “that in the guise of recommending names of candidates to private colleges, the candidate who has already secured admission elsewhere cannot be permitted to resign from the concerned college to avail of the opportunity under the stated dispensation.

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BJP govt has set new benchmark of inflation: Pilot on fuel price rise

He accused BJP government dividing the people in name of religion and castes and claimed that the saffron party has avoided discussing real issues.

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sachin Pilot

Jaipur, May 25 : Rajasthan Congress Chief Sachin Pilot today hit out at the BJP government at the centre over rising prices of petrol and diesel saying it has set a “new benchmark of inflation and its policies have broken common people’s back”.

He alleged that that BJP ministers and leaders are silent at a time when prices of petrol and diesel are rising continuously.

Petrol and diesel prices were raised for the 11th day in succession yesterday as the state-owned oil firms gradually passed on to the consumer the increased cost of international oil that had accumulated since a 19-day freeze was imposed just before Karnataka elections.

“Riding high on promises to reduce inflation, the BJP was voted to power. But, its government has set new benchmarks of inflation and its policies have broken back of the common people,” Pilot said addressing his party’s ‘Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav’ event at Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s turf in Jhalarapatan and Aklera of Jhalawar district.

He accused BJP government dividing the people in name of religion and castes and claimed that the saffron party has avoided discussing real issues.

The BJP government in Rajasthan has repeatedly neglected issues of farmers and agriculturists. Recently, a debt-ridden garlic farmer committed suicide reflecting that insensitivity of the government, Pilot claimed and said the Congress has always raised voice for the people and protested against the “anti-people decisions” of the BJP government.

He said that people of the Rajasthan see the Congress with a new hope and there was need to overcome all the challenges to win people’s heart.

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Videocon Case: SEBI issues notice to ICICI Bank, CEO Chanda Kochhar

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ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar

Mumbai, May 25: Private lender ICICI Bank on Friday said that Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought responses from the company and its MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar on alleged non-compliance of the “erstwhile ‘Listing Agreement’ and the ‘Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015′”.

According to a BSE filing, SEBI sought the reply via a notice issued to the private lender and its MD and CEO on May 24.

As per the securities market regulator’s LODR regulations, all listed entities are mandated to immediately disclose relevant and important information to stock exchanges.

“The MD and CEO and the bank received a notice from SEBI on May 24, 2018… requiring responses on matters relating to alleged non-compliance with certain provisions of the erstwhile ‘Listing Agreement’ and the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015′,” the filing said.

“The notice has been issued based on information furnished by the bank or its MD and CEO to diverse queries made by SEBI concerning dealings between the bank and Videocon Group and certain dealings allegedly between Videocon Group and Nupower, an entity in which Deepak Kochhar spouse of MD and CEO has economic interests.”

The bank said that appropriate responses would be submitted to SEBI in accordance with regulation.

The SEBI notice comes more than a month after nepotism and conflict of interest allegations were levelled against Kochhar. It has been alleged that Kochhar had wrongfully granted a loan to Videocon Group and that her husband’s company — NuPower Renewables — received a loan from the Videocon Group’s Chariman Venugopal Dhoot on a quid pro quo basis.

Chanda Kochhar on May 7 had said that private lender works under and abides by all regulatory norms and that it has been fully cooperating with regulatory and investigative agencies.

On March 29, ICICI Bank Chairman M.K. Sharma had said that reports alleging nepotism by Kochhar were unfounded and malicious in nature.

Saying that ICICI Bank’s exposure to the Videocon Group (Videocon Industries and 12 of its subsidiaries or associates as co-obligors) for a debt consolidation programme and for the group’s oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating approximately Rs 40,000 crore was less than 10 per cent.

Sharma had asserted that no individual bank employee has the ability to influence decisions of the credit committee.

He clarified that none of “the investors of NuPower Renewables are borrowers of ICICI Bank” and that Kochhar did not chair the committee that had lent to Videocon.

In addition, Sharma said at the press briefing that Kochhar has been making all her disclosures in accordance with the regulatory guidelines under the Companies Act and the Banking Act.

Sharma revealed that the bank has ‘satisfactorily’ replied to the questions of all the regulators, which he described as an ongoing process between “a regulated entity like a bank and the regulators and other government departments”.

In 2012, a consortium of 20 banks and financial institutions sanctioned credit facilities to the Videocon Group for a debt consolidation programme and for its oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating to approximately Rs 40,000 crore.

IANS

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