The Orissa government, on September 24, instructed the collectors of all the districts in the state to make payments to the NREGS workers within 15 days. This is being done in conformity with the operational guidelines of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, official sources said.
To ensure NREGS payments are made within this stipulated period, the collectors have been told to take steps to update the muster rolls on a weekly basis. The wages of the NREGS workers are to be computed on a weekly basis from attendance records in muster rolls.
The Panchayati Raj department, in concurrence with the chief post master general, Orissa circle, has already issued detailed guidelines for payment of wages through post offices. As per the prescribed guidelines, five copies of the wage list will be prepared and sent to the appropriate authorities including the concerned head post office.
The postal authorities will take prompt measures and communicate the orders of payment as per the wage list to sub-post offices and branch post-offices. It will be ensured that the wages for the previous week, as reflected in the wage list, should be paid in the subsequent week without any delay.
Similarly, in case of payments through banks, the maintenance of muster rolls on weekly basis should be ensured. The wages relating to that week need to be credited to the accounts of the NREGS workers in the subsequent week, enabling the workers to withdraw the amount within the week.
The latest measure assumes importance as it has come to the notice of the government that the payment of wages to some NREGS workers is not made within a fortnight. In some districts, the wages are not paid to the workers for months together. It is reportedly causing resentment among people prompting them to abstain from work.