Centre ensuring transparency in MGNREGS through Aadhaar: Minister

New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) The Narendra Modi government is bringing transparency to the work allocation and wages paid under the MGNREGS through the use of Aadhaar, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Replying to some opposition members’ allegation that the government is denying work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to those who do not have Aadhaar, although Aadhaar is not compulsory for getting work, Tomar said that Aadhaar is not mandatory till March 31.

“We are ensuring transparency in MGNREGS. People can get work without Aadhaar till March 31 this year, and even this is not the last deadline. This deadline can be further extended if state governments say they are not ready to implement it,” Tomar said.

The minister said that the Narendra Modi government is committed to raise the overall living standards in the rural areas and the MGNREGS is one of the means.

“The creation of assets is also being undertaken under MGNREGS. So far, 51 lakh assets have been geo-tagged,” he said.

Earlier, replying to a question by Communist Party of India’s D. Raja, Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav said that “so far no complaint has been received that anyone is being denied work for want of Aadhaar card”.

“Aadhaar is not mandatory till March 31. Till now, around 80 per cent of people have voluntarily submitted Aadhaar,” he said.

Yadav said that the Aadhaar was being asked so that “the MGNREGS funds reach the deserving”.

“We are cleaning the system through Aadhaar. There were 13,04,00000 job cards, out of which after Aadhaar linking, around 56 lakh were found to be fake and weeded out. We are ensuring that the money meant for the poor should not be pocketed by the undeserving,” he added.