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MGNREGS Wage via Aadhaar: Govt Extends Deadline For Compulsory Payment System – News18


The government decided to continue mixed mode payments to ensure that some workers are not excluded. (Representative image)

This comes days after an official had said it was decided that the deadline would not be extended any more.

The Union Rural Development Ministry on Wednesday said the deadline for compulsory wages to workers through the Aadhaar-based payment system under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has been extended till December 31 this year.

This comes days after an official had said it was decided that the deadline would not be extended any more.

The progress of Aadhaar-based Payment System (ABPS) was reviewed and it was decided that a mixed route of wage payment (through NACH and ABPS route) will be extended till December 31, 2023, or till further orders, the ministry said in a statement.

An order was issued in January this year to make payments through the Adhaar-based payment system mandatory under the MGNREGS and the government had first fixed February 1 as the deadline, which was later extended to March 31, then till June 30 and eventually it was extended till August 31.

Sources in the ministry told news agency PTI that while it had been earlier decided not to extend the deadline. However, after a review of the situation, the government decided to continue mixed mode payments to ensure that some workers are not excluded.

“The progress of Aadhaar-based Payment System (ABPS) has been reviewed and the mixed route of wage payment (NACH and ABPS route) has been extended till 31st December 2023 or till further order,” the ministry said.

It reiterated that beneficiaries, who come for work, should be requested to provide the Aadhaar number but will not be refused work on this basis.

“If a beneficiary does not demand for work, in such case, her/his status about eligibility for APBS does not affect the demand for work. Job cards cannot be deleted on the basis of reason that the worker is not eligible for APBS,” the ministry added.

Under ABPS, the Aadhaar details of a worker are seeded with their job card and bank account. It also has to be mapped with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) database and the concerned bank’s institutional identification number (IIN) should also be mapped with the NPCI database.

Out of the total 14.33 crore active beneficiaries, Aadhaar has been seeded for 13.97 crore, according to the ministry. Against these seeded Aadhaar, a total 13.34 crore have been authenticated and 81.89 per cent of the active workers are now eligible for APBS. About 88.51 per cent of the wage payment has been made through APBS in July.

The ministry also said a “proper ecosystem for APBS is in place” and added that this is “the best system to be followed for the payment” considering the benefits of APBS for the beneficiaries.  “Aadhaar-based payment system is nothing but a route through which the payment is getting credited in the account of beneficiaries. There are well defined steps adopted in this system and role of beneficiaries, field functionaries and all other stakeholders is clearly defined,” it said..

(With PTI inputs)

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