Vol. XL No. 48 November 27, 2016

AIAWU Denounces Demonetisation

THE All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), in a statement issued on November 19 has demanded the central government to make immediate arrangements to dispense the wages of MNREGA workers on priority basis.  Crores of MNREGA workers have not been paid due to lack of lower denomination notes over the last two weeks.  Crores of workers’ wage dues are pending for more than three months and the central government has admitted the same in Supreme Court and assured that it will be paid as soon as possible. But instead of honoring this commitment given to Supreme Court, the central government decided to break it by issuing informal administrative directions through its WhatsApp group by asking the state administrators and program coordinators not to release the funds or take up any new job applications.

On the contrary the chaos created by demonetisation and lack of currency with the banks leaves the workers unpaid and punished for no fault of theirs. There is no alternative mechanism put in place by the government departments concerned to ensure disbursal of food grains under the public distribution system. The transporters carrying food grains and other essential commodities are on strike on account of mishandling of demonetisation. This mechanism must be restored on a war footing.

In this context, the AIAWU has strongly condemned this anarchic approach. This shows the dishonesty of the central government towards the poor. It demanded the immediate roll back of the decision on high denomination currency notes so that both the payments due and obstructed food supplies are disbursed.