MGNREGA facing fund crunch

Policy matters this week
Labourers build check dams under MGNREGA. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos) Labourers build check dams under MGNREGA. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

More fund over the budgetary allocation sought for MGNREGA
Despite the highest ever budgetary allocation this year to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), the scheme is facing a shortage of funds as the demand for work is higher this year due to droughts in some region. The rural development ministry has sought Rs 10,000 crore more for the smooth functioning of the programme. In the current fiscal, Rs 43,499 crore was allocated to the rural employment scheme, of which nearly 83 percent of the allocated funds have been released to the states along with clearing the outstanding of 2015.  

Paris climate pact now official
The 2015 Paris Agreement, a landmark global accord to combat climate change, has officially entered into force. The agreement reached the threshold for entry into force a month ago and was adopted by 195 countries including India. Now the rule-making process till 2020 will begin and the countries are supposed to take their respective actions under the Paris deal from January 1, 2021. The Paris Agreement seeks to wean the world economy off fossil fuels in the second half of the century, limiting the rise in average world temperatures to just 1.5 degree Celsius. 

Krishna water conflict: Telangana won’t fight the battle alone
After the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to not approach the Supreme Court over Krishna water sharing, the Telangana government, left alone in the battle, has decided to drop its idea of contesting the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal’s order in the apex court. However, the final decision will be taken by Telangana’s chief minister, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, later this month. The two states were fighting for their riparian rights over Krishna river water. The irrigation department of Telangana is now looking at other alternatives for maximum utilisation of the river water. 

Siruvani dam: Centre’s order relieves Tamil Nadu
Much to the relief of the Tamil Nadu government, the Centre has ordered to put on hold the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee for granting standard terms of reference for the Kerala government’s dam project across the Siruvani river in the Attapadi valley. The project is put on hold till references filed in the Supreme Court against the order of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal are settled and Tamil Nadu gives the go-ahead to the project. 

File status report on drinking water in Shimla: HC to HP
The Himachal Pradesh high court has ordered the state government to file a status report on the shortage of drinking water supply in Shimla. The issue has come into the court’s notice after it was reported that contaminated water was supplied in the city. As per the news report, the sewage got mixed with drinking water, creating an epidemic-like situation in the city. Also, the court has directed the government to file a fresh status report within two weeks.

This is a roundup of important policy matters from November 1-7, 2016. Also read news this week.

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