Agartala, March 14 Over 2,700 employees engaged in MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme continued their strike for the sixth day on Saturday affecting its execution in Tripura.
The employees have been demanding annual wage hike at par with other government employees, regularisation of their jobs and removal of anomalies in their service.
The Tripura government has asked the striking staff to join their duties immediately else action will be taken against them.
“We would continue our agitation until the state government fulfils our 13-point demands,” Tripura MGNREGA Karmachari Samannay Samity secretary Joydeep Kar told IANS.
The agitating employees are also demanding 20 days’ paid leave every year and that their their service records should be maintained like that of other employees working in centrally sponsored schemes.
Tripura Rural Development Minister Naresh Jamatia, Chief Secretary G. Kameswara Rao and other senior officials have held a series of meetings with the striking employees during the past few days and assured them of considering their demands as per the prevailing rules.
“We have asked them to join duty immediately otherwise the state government would take strong action against them,” Jamatia told reporters adding that due to the stir the execution of the rural job guarantee scheme has been affected.
Meanwhile, Tripura topped all other states in implementation of MGNREGA providing 72 days of work per household in the outgoing fiscal year (2014-15) so far against the national average of 31.75 man-days.
The MGNREGA, launched in 2005, mandates 100 days of employment in a financial year to at least one member of each rural household.
According to Tripura rural development department officials, the state has retained the top position for the fifth consecutive year by providing 87 to 88 man-days jobs per household during the past five years.
At a review meeting in New Delhi on Friday, Tripura officials told the central government officials that if the state got the remaining central funds in time, it would be able to provide at least 86 days of work per household before the end of the financial year on March 31.
According to the officials, the central government has indicated it would allocate Rs 1,500 crore under the scheme for the financial year 2015-16. The current year’s allocation was Rs 1,400 crore.