Increasing MNREGA mandays a political gimmick: Mamata

Kolkata : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday dubbed the union cabinet’s decision to raise the minimum number of workdays for tribals under the MNREGA as a “political gimmick”.

“The central government has now stopped funding even for 100 days’ work and just to give a lip-service to the people, they have decided to increase it to 150 days.

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“Rs.900 crore was still pending with the centre for 100 days’ work which we have already completed. When it is unable to provide funds even for 100 days’ work, the decision to increase it to 150 days was nothing but a mere political gimmick,” Banerjee said.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs Friday approved a 50 percent increase in the minimum number of workdays under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) for tribal families to 150 days per year.

Banerjee also said that Bengal needed Rs.2,100 crore from the central government for the programme.

“This decision is nothing but a mockery. Is it not just a sham to extract political mileage,” Banerjee said.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee slammed the centre for raising the expenditure limits for the Lok Sabha polls to a maximum of Rs.70 lakh and a minimum of Rs.54 lakh.