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Gram Panchayat workers protest outside Vidhana Soudha against EFMS

Labourers who are employed to carry out the tasks under the EFMS scheme of the government gathered around Vidhana Soudha to protest against their employment policy. Maruti Manpade, president of Karnataka Stage Gram Panchayat Employees Union, said that around 30,000 of the total 60,000 workers employed in over 6000 Gram Panchayats across the State were expected to participate in the agitation.

The recent scheme of EFMS (Electronic Fund Management System) under the MGNREGA aims to for direct and faster release of wages under the has become fully operational in the state of Karnataka. However, the controversy arose when the employment opportunities only got limited on the basis of educational qualification and hence, didn’t allow a large chunk of the population to be employed under this scheme.

“…around 18,000 workers were left out as they failed to produce records pertaining to their educational qualifications. These are the employees who have been working as pump-operators, sweepers, bill collectors, data entry operators and clerks for minimum wages for over a decade now. Considering the nature of their jobs and the age of employees, the government needs to rethink and allow them to continue in their jobs that indeed require no educational qualifications,” stated Manpade as the reason of protest

This system was introduced especially after the manual fund system which existed carried the funds to be distributed were credited into the account of the person who is being employed under the scheme directly instead of undergoing a longer process of other transfer methods. However, not the entire initiative of EFMS has benefitted the public by ensuring a source of secured payment. Manpade also spoke to the media about, this crisis by saying that several people haven’t received their waged for 11 months.

“Hope Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda understands the problem and resolves it at the earliest possible,” he added.

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