The government Saturday released Rs. 12,230 crore to the states over the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
"This fund release will take care of the pending wage liability of the states for the previous financial year (2015-16) and help the states to run the programme during the new financial year (2016-17)," Minister for Rural Development Birender Singh said in a statement.
Last week, the Supreme Court had criticised the government for not providing adequate relief to the drought hit states.
For 2016-17, states in their Labour budget have proposed a plan to construct 8.82 lakh farm ponds and 10.39 lakh organic composite pits to boost the agriculture sector. States have also proposed to construct 33 lakh individual household latrines as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission and 63,000 anganwadi centre buildings to strengthen rural infrastructure.
This is the largest amount released for the scheme at one time by the ministry.
In 2015-16 alone, the rural development ministry registered expenditure worth Rs. 41,371 crore under the MGNREGA, which is the highest expenditure under the programme since the scheme's inception.
"This has allowed for the highest employment generation over the past three years and the best achievement on key parameters over the last three years such as works taken up, 55% women participation and 95% of payments through electronic fund management system," the minister said.
[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]