Modi government created rural distress: Congress
New Delhi: The Congress on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of quietly squeezing funds meant for the MGNREGA scheme, and said pro-rich and anti-poor policies of his government created “rampant and unimaginable rural distress” in the past five years.
Congress Spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said even as Modi and his ministers mocked the minimum income guarantee scheme “Nyay” announced by Rahul Gandhi — which intends to directly transfer Rs 72,000 to bank accounts of beneficiaries, rural labourers had not been given wage hikes and farmers were getting “zero respite” from this government.
“Under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Emloyment Guarantee Act), Modi government has given a measly increase of 2.16 per cent as average annual wage hike for 2019-20 which is the lowest-ever,” she said in a statement.
Chaturvedi said that NREGA labourers in six states and union territories would see no annual increase in their daily wages this financial year while the government had also not released any funds for wage hikes for the states of Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal.
“Workers in another 15 states will get a daily wage hike of between Re 1 and Rs 5. Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have been provided a paltry increase of Re 1 and Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have received a miserable increase of Rs 2. BJP-ruled Jharkhand and Bihar continue to have the lowest NREG wages at Rs 171 a day,” the Congress leader said.
She added that farmers were no better under the present government and that 40 per cent of the area in the country was reeling under drought conditions, “of which 16-17 per cent is under severe conditions”.
“But the Modi government has provided absolutely no respite to the farmers who are facing this scorching drought. Average income of an agri-household is just Rs 8,931 per month as per NABARD’s latest survey.”
Chaturvedi said that tractor sales were declining and two-wheeler sales were crawling.