Aadhaar – Linked NREGS Payments to Get More Time

The government will likely extend the current mixed model of wage payment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) beyond the March 31 deadline. The directive for a mandatory use of the Aadhaar-Based Payment System (ABPS) under the MGNREGS from February 1 had stoked massive protests by workers, many of whom claimed that they were being deprived of payments due to technical glitches. Subsequently, the rural development ministry decided to allow payments through both the ABPS and the usual National Automated Clearing House (NACH) electronic payment system until the end of March. “While we would like more and more payments to be made through the ABPS mode, we are absolutely committed to ensure that no worker is deprived of payment for their work,” rural development secretary Shailesh Kumar Singh told ET, indicating both ABPS and NACH payment modes will continue for some more time. The NACH, set up by National Payments Corporation of India, is a fund clearing platform that facilitates recurring interbank transactions electronically. The ABPS typically uses the Aadhaar number to identify beneficiaries for fund transfer, while the NACH uses their bank account details. According to the ministry, the ABPS was introduced in 2017 to ensure there would be no delay in wage payments to workers due to bank account-related problems. This system also “ensures transparency” in wage payments and helps plug leakages. Announcing the extension of the mixed payment model until March 31 “at the request of states”, the ministry had on March 19 said if the beneficiary was already linked with the ABPS, then payment would be made only through this system. For the rest, it said the NACH system would continue until March 31. S-ET

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *