Now, Govt officials to pay delay compensation to MGNREGA workers out of their salaries

Governor’s Admn frames Standard Operating Procedure
Role of each stakeholder in wages’ payment defined
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Nov 18: With Governor’s Administration framing Standard Operating Procedure on monitoring timely payment of wages to the workers engaged under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the officials of the Rural Development Department responsible for delay will have to pay ‘delay compensation’ out of their salaries. This mechanism has been made applicable with immediate effect so as to provide justice to the poor workers.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that ever since the implementation of MGNREGA in Jammu and Kashmir untimely wages remained the concern of majority of the workers and this issue figured in all the sessions of State Legislative Assembly and every meeting of the Rural Development Department convened so far.
Though some instructions were issued from time to time for ensuring timely wages to the workers engaged under MGNREGA— a Government of India scheme aimed at providing guaranteed wage employment to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work, yet the issue largely remained unresolved much to the disappointment of the workers, they further said.
This was notwithstanding the fact that Section 3 of MGNREGA entitles the workers to receive their daily wages on weekly basis and in any case not later than a fortnight from the date of closure of Muster Roll. In case the wages are not paid within the stipulated period of 15 days from the date of closure of Muster Roll, MGNREGA workers are entitled to receive payment of compensation for the delay.
Now, while taking serious note of this issue and to provide justice to the poor workers, the Governor’s Administration has framed Standard Operating Procedure on monitoring of timely payment of wages and the same has been made applicable with immediate effect.
“To ensure timely payment of wages to MGNREGA workers, the timelines have been fixed for completing various processes from the date of closure of muster sheets to the approval of Fund Transfer Officer”, read Government Order No.281-RD & PR issued by Sheetal Nanda, Secretary to Government, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
Laying thrust on strict adherence to the timelines by each stakeholder, the Secretary to Government has mentioned in the order that the delay compensation starts generating after the period defined under Section 3 of the MGNREGA and concerned functionaries responsible for delay shall be liable to pay delay compensation out of their salaries. The instructions in this regard will be passed on to the concerned Drawing and Disbursing Officers and Treasury Officers well in time.
As per the Standard Operating Procedure, before start of work Gram Rozgar Sahayak will collect e-Muster Roll duly authorized by Block Development Officer or PO, verify the same against the job cards and the wage seekers name, pay visit to the worksite and inform the wage seekers who have applied for the job.
Similarly, on closure of Muster Roll, the Gram Rozgar Sahayak will visit the worksite, check the attendance of the workers filled in the e-Muster Roll, complete the e-MR of the workers who have worked, submit the Muster to the PO or BDO for authorization.
Within two days after the closure of Muster Roll, Gram Rozgar Sahayak will submit the MR copy to the Data Entry Operator placed in the Block office for entry and Data Entry Operator will receive e-MRs from the GRS, check the completeness of the manual attendance entries made in the e-MRs and handover the copies of the e-MRs to Technical Assistant/Junior Engineer for measurement.
Between 3rd to 5th day from the date of closure of MR, Technical Assistant/Junior Engineer will collect e-MR from DEO, visit worksite, take measurement of the work done for the muster period, calculate the wage to be paid and submit the details further. Likewise, on 6th day from the closure of MR, Data Entry Operator will collect the e-MR from the Junior Engineer and generate the wage list for the muster period and push the wage list for the generation of the Fund Transfer Officer.
On 7th day from the closure of MR, the Accountant will complete all the formalities which include digitally signing the FTO and sending the same to the second signatory for approval. On 8th day, Second Signatory Officer (BDO) will verify the FTO vis-à-vis the wage list and push the FTO to the e-FMS server for payment.