NREGA Sangharsh Morcha files FIRs for non-payment of wages -Mohammed Iqbal
Jaipur: As part of a nationwide campaign, representatives of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) Sangharsh Morcha and the Rajasthan Unorganised Labour Union on Thursday filed complaints for registration of First Information Reports (FIR) in more than 10 police stations in five districts of the State for non-payment of wages to labourers engaged under the Centre's flagship scheme.
The complainants said that the government’s failure to pay wages and ensure the basic NREGA entitlements to workers “amount[ed] to a crime”, according to the Supreme Court’s judgment of May 13, 2016. The complaints were filed against the Secretary of the Union government’s Department of Rural Development as the “main accused”.
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha’s State convenor Mukesh Nirvasit said here that the complaints were drafted with the evidence of offences under Sections 374 (unlawful compulsory labour), Section 420 (cheating) and Section 116 (abetment of offence) of the Indian Penal Code. “We witnessed mixed reactions of the police. At one police station, the labourers were given receipt of the complaint, while the complainants were told at some other places that higher officers would be apprised of it,” he added.
The complaints for registration of FIRs were submitted in Ajmer, Pali, Bhilwara, Dungarpur and Udaipur districts. Mr. Nirvasit said ?778 crore were due for payment to labourers in these districts, while the fund transfer orders (FTOs) had not been processed since January 18 and the workers had been forced to wait for their wages.
In a large number of instances, even the submission of job applications, remains an uphill task, and the work is not available within 15 days, as mandated by the NREGA. Labourers were being deprived of the NREGA entitlements, including timely payment of wages, work on demand, compensation for late payment and unemployment allowance because of lack of allocation of proper funds, Mr. Nirvasit said.
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The Hindu, 1 March, 2019, https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nrega-sangharsh-morcha-files-firs-for-non-payment-of-wages/article26401003.ece?homepage=true