Giriraj Singh challenges Rahul Gandhi to debate on MGNREGA, in terms of fund allocations, Assets Creations

New Delhi, February 18 (KNS): Union Minister of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh today challenged the Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to debate on MGNREGA, both in terms of fund allocations and Assets Creations during the 2004-14 UPA rule and 9 years of Narendra Modi Government.

Speaking on the side-lines of the SARAS Mela in Noida, UP, Giriraj Singh took strong exception to the Facebook post of Rahul Gandhi in Hindi, citing a news report for reducing the MGNREGA budget and said that Congress leader should get his facts and figures right before making such wild allegations.

Giriraj Singh asserted that during the 10-year rule of the Congress-led UPA, the BE (Budget Estimate) of MGNREGA never exceeded Rs 33,000 Crore and in most of the fiscals, the funds got surrendered due to poor implementation of the rural job scheme. The Minister, on the other hand added that since May, 2014, when Prime Minister Modi took charge, every year the BE got exceeded in RE. He pointed out that this year also the BE of Rs 73,000 crore has already touched the figure of Rs 89,400 Crore, RE (Revised Estimate) as the Rural Development Ministry received Rs 16,000 crore out of Rs 25,000 crore demanded due to accumulation of States dues.

It may be noted that in 2019-20, the BE was Rs 60,000 crore and the RE went up to Rs 71,000 crore, while in 2020-21 the BE of Rs 61,500 Crore went to a whopping Rs one lakh 11 thousand and 500 crore rupees, a little less than the double initial allocation, due to reverse migration of rural population from cities to villages in the wake of COVID pandemic and the increased demand for work. Similarly, in the financial year 2021-2022, the BE of Rs 73,000 crore touched Rs 99, 117 crores.

Giriraj Singh also challenged Gandhi to check the asset creation during the UPA rule under the rural job scheme, which he said was merely 17 percent, while in the last 9 years of the Modi Government, the asset creation has already crossed 60 percent. He gave full credit to Shri Narendra Modi for reorienting MGNREGA and its mandate from merely digging and filling holes.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP-led government yesterday of reducing the MGNREGA budget and stated that the rural job scheme, which was the foundation of India's rural economy is becoming a victim of the Centre's repressive policies.

On the question of Gandhi alleging that the government is misusing Aadhaar against the poor sections of society by linking it to the scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Shri Giriraj Singh said, the aim of Modi Government is to bring full transparency in the implementation of the scheme.(KNS)

To Top