Non-payment of wages adds to hardships of Kashmir labourers

Rajouri (Jammu and Kashmir), Apr. 26: Labourers in Rajouri District of Jammu and Kashmir are facing a lot of hardships due to the non- payment of wages under the much acclaimed Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

They have been waiting for their wages for at least a year now.

The village headman, Biptu Ram, questioned the authorities over the denial of wages to these poor labourers.

“After the labourers have completed their work, authorities say that their wages have been deducted. There is no reason for such a deduction from a labourer’s wage. Why has it been done? We want to ask the government on what basis has there been a wage cut? This is the payment of the labourers and it is their due. They have deducted 20 percent from it. Even if they have to do so, why should they impose such a high cut? This is wrong,” he said.

The labourers complain that they keep visiting the bank in the hope of collecting their wages, but this exercise almost always proves futile.

Block Development Officer Kawaljeet Singh Bali said the pending payments have been declared as liabilities.

“We have shown the payments pending in the financial year of 2013-14 as liabilities. There is no case of payments getting delayed by a year. There is no genuine case of payment having been stopped by us. The liabilities have been shown to the superior authorities and we expect an early release,” he said.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a law that guarantees at least 100 days of employment to one adult member of each rural household who is willing to take up an unskilled manual job. (ANI)