The Centre is promoting the social audit of work carried out under MNREGA to bring more transparency in schemes and check corruption, officials said. As part of the social audit, gram sabhas review official records and determine whether state reported expenditures reflect the actual money spent on the ground, sources in the government said.
Since the last few months, the Union Rural Development Ministry is promoting social audit of the work, they said. The rules for such audits have been framed in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The members of gram sabhas have also been trained to supervise the entire process.
The audit of accounts has to be carried out either by the director, local fund audit (LFA) or an equivalent authority or by chartered accountants appointed by the state government from among those empanelled with the CAG. When contacted, the Joint Secretary in the ministry Aprajita Sarangi said that at least one audit has to be held every six months.
The purpose behind social audit is to bring more transparency, she said. The government has paid 86 per cent of wages of nearly one crore workers under the MNREGA scheme within 15 days in 2017-18 so far. Timely payment of wages under MNREGA has been a major concern for the government from some time. The Central government has ensured timely release of funds and states have responded by strengthening the implementation machinery to provide timely payments.