All DDCs asked to conduct detailed inquiry, fix responsibility within 15 days

Engagement of support staff under MGNREGA in violation of rules

RDD apprehends issuance of fake, forged orders in some distts

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Sept 13: Taking serious note of engagement of support staff under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in blatant violation of rules, the Government has asked all the District Development Commissioners (DDCs) to conduct in-depth inquiry and fix the responsibility within a period of 15 days so that necessary action is taken against the erring officials.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that Section 18 of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 provides that the State Government shall make available to the District Programme Coordinators and the Programme Officers necessary staff and technical support as may be necessary for the effective implementation of the scheme.
As per Section 14 of the Act, the District Programme Coordinator is responsible for the implementation of the scheme in the district and to review, monitor and supervise the performance of the Programme Officers, who are required to prepare a plan for the block and assist the Panchayats at intermediate level in discharging functions under the Act.
Keeping in view the guidelines of this Centrally Sponsored Scheme, the State Government Vide Circular No.15-RD-NREGA of 2010 dated December 14, 2010 constituted Selection Committees in all the districts for engagement of support staff—MIS Operators, Technical Assistants, Gram Rozgar Sahayaks and Social Audit Coordinators for smooth implementation of the flagship scheme of the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
However, in the recent past the Rural Development Department received large number of complaints and representations from various quarters alleging fake and illegal engagement of support staff under the scheme in contravention to the guidelines and without following proper process of selection, sources informed.
Subsequently, in order to streamline the engagement of support staff in consonance with the rules and proper selection process, the Rural Development Department vide Government Order No.203-RD&PR dated August 9, 2018 issued instructions for disengagement of all those engagements made in contravention to the rules, norms and guidelines in vogue and without following due procedure.
“Now, it has been found by the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department that there is a possibility that certain orders have been issued by the officers of the department at district level in contravention to the rules and regulations in vogue which otherwise was the prerogative of the Selection Committees constituted for the purpose”, sources said, adding “there is also possibility that some of the orders are fake and forged”.
Keeping all these aspects in mind, all the District Development Commissioners have been asked to conduct an inquiry with regard to the role of the departmental officers in issuance of such orders in contravention of rules in vogue and fix the responsibility, sources said.
Vide Government Order No.236-RD&PR dated September 11, 2018, the Secretary to Government, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Sheetal Nanda has asked all the District Development Commissioners to furnish detailed report to the Department of Rural Development within a period of 15 days.
As per the order, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, the DDCs have also been asked to give specific recommendations regarding action required to be taken in the light of the findings of their inquiry.
Meanwhile, in order to streamline the implementation of MGNREGA, the Rural Development Department has clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of the key functionaries—Gram Rozgar Sahayaks, Village Level Workers, Technical Assistants, Programme Officers, Block Development Officers and Computer Operators-cum-Accounts Assistants.
It has been made obligatory on the part of Gram Rozgar Sahayaks to prepare annual report containing the facts and figures and the achievements relating to the implementation of the scheme within their jurisdiction and making available the copy of the same to the public on demand.
Similarly, Village Level Workers have been asked to maintain accounts as per the prescribed format while as Technical Assistants have been directed to ensure measurement of works within three days after muster rolls are closed.
Likewise, the Programme Officers have been asked to daily monitor and supervise implementation of works and Block Development Officers instructed to redress grievances within the block within seven days as prescribed under the Act.