States asked to put in place social audit mechanism for MNREGA


NEW DELHI, Mar 13: The states have been asked to put in place a robust social audit mechanism to improve implementation of projects under MNREGA and reduce the irregularities found in it, the government told the Rajya Sabha today.

Replying to a question on corruption in MNREGA projects, Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya said the Ministry has been reminding state governments to investigate and take necessary action against cases of misappropriation and embezzlement of government funds.

“… Not only disciplinary action should be taken against the guilty officials, but simultaneously criminal prosecution should also be initiated under Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act, besides recovering the amount involved from the persons concerned,” Aditya told the House.

In consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General, MNREGA Audit of Scheme Rules, 2011 have been notified and all states have been asked to put in place a robust social audit mechanism as outlined in these rules, he said.

To strengthen institutional outreach for wage disbursement, it has been decided that state governments should roll out Business Correspondent Model to make wage payment through banks with bio-metric authentication at village levels, Aditya said.

On providing bio-metric cards to the workers, the Minister said, “The implementation of bio-metric cards for MNREGA depends on enrollment to be completed by Unique Identification Authority, issue of smart cards by Registrar General of India and technology to be employed for enrollment and payment.”

Replying to a question on the number of people being given jobs under the MNREGA projects, Aditya said, “In 2009-10, 5.26 crore households were provided employment under MNREGA against cumulative number of 11.25 crore households issued job cards.”

He said under MNREGA, employment allowances become payable in case an applicant is not provided employment within 15 days of receipt of his application seeking employment or from the date on which employment has been sought in case of an advance application, whichever is later.

The liability for payment of umemployment allowance rests on the State Governments, he added. (PTI)