Minister Misled Lok Sabha About not Receiving any Complaints Related to NREGA App: NSM
A delegation of workers outside Union Minister Giriraj Singh's house. Source: NREGA Sangharsh Morcha
New Delhi: The NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) Sangharsh Morcha has called out Union Minister Giriraj Singh over his recent statement in the Lower House of Parliament. He claimed that the Ministry of Rural Development "had not received any complaints related to the National Mobile Monitoring System (NMMS) digital-attendance App."
Reacting to Singh's statement, the Morcha (a coalition of rural workers' organisations), in a statement, highlighted how they had been trying to draw the ministry concerned’s attention towards irregularities in the NMMS app and the Aadhaar-based payment system (ABPS).
Both these systems have been made compulsory for workers to receive NREGA wage payments on January 1, 2023, and February 1, 2023, respectively.
To highlight the workers' concerns, the Morcha said it had tried various methods to reach the ministry, including written complaints, social media posts, delegations, etc.
A written complaint highlighting workers' concerns. Source: NREGA Sangharsh Morcha
In February 2023, several MGNREGA workers started protesting against the mandatory use of NMMS at Delhi's Jantar Mantar. Workers complained that many of them did not receive payments because the app failed to display work days.
Since the start of the Jantar Mantar protest, several visits have been made to the MoRD on February 15, 17, and 20. The Morcha say that a delegation of workers finally met Amit Kataria, joint secretary, on February 20. After that, a delegation from West Bengal went to Singh's residence to seek an appointment. However, they failed to do so.
The Morcha says its complaints and protests have been ignored by the ministry.
"We have reached an unprecedented situation where many NREGA workers work without being paid because of technical problems related to NMMS or ABPS. This is grossly unjust, unacceptable and illegal," the statement by Morcha read.
Furthermore, the Morcha has demanded "an opportunity to brief the ministry on the ground realities of digital harassment and their consequences for NREGA workers."
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