The Centre today stated to the Supreme Court that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act was ‘demand-driven scheme’ and it has not decreased the funds by the states under it.
Attorney General (AG) K K Venugopal told that there the centre has nowhere capped the number of days of employment under the act nor have stopped the release of funds to any state to the bench of justices Madan B Lokur and N V Ramana.
“We have paid increased amount to the states. The MGNREGA is a demand-driven scheme and at no stage, the demand (of the states for funds) has been curtailed by the Union of India,” he said. Venugopal said forwarding the arguments of centre while countering the submissions of advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO-turned-political party Swaraj Abhiyan.
Bhushan claimed in the court that the centre has no authority in law to reduce the ‘person days’ from the projection made by the states under the Act and due of lack of funds, the states were unable to give employment to the people. “The Act provides for 100 days of employment (in a year). It is a statutory obligation,” he said, adding.