Excess withdrawal of MGNREGA funds


Withdrawing over Rs. 2 crore in excess than ”authorised” from the accounts of MGNREGA can, by no reckoning be termed as anything but not a well planned fraud. Two Assistant Commissioners of Development and 11 Block Development Officers involved in the well thought of and executed fraudulent withdrawal of public funds throws enough light as to how the affliction of corruption has made deep inroads into the system despite resolve of the Government of zero tolerance to corruption and corrupt practices. It is surprising that barring one, all the accused are officers of KAS cadre. While we feel concerned over unabated acts of corrupt practices, how much percentage of that comes into limelight notwithstanding, merely suspending the services of the perpetrator officials would not be enough. First of all, the amount thieved must be recovered in full followed by taking other action under law including sealing all papers and documents related to the fraud. It is commendable that inquiry proceedings are to be completed within 15 days by the Enquiry Officer and there should be no undue extension of this period as that has the potential to affect the purpose and the aim of preliminary enquiry procedures. Fixing responsibility as early as possible in matters where money – the public funds were involved is paramount as also to ascertain whether there exists the procedure of reporting payments made to higher authorities who are to cross check the authenticity of the authorisation and the genuineness of money withdrawals from Government treasuries.