The UPA governments flagship MGNREGS programme has landed in a mess in Assam. Only a little over 9 per cent of the states registered 39.21 lakh households got the mandatory 100-day employment during 2007-12. The CAG has identified factors such as fake job cards and job cards taken away from beneficiaries to be misused.
A CAG report,tabled in the Assembly and briefed upon by Assam Accountant General C H Kharshiing last week,revealed that the five years were marked by misappropriation and diversion of funds,parking of unutilised money in personal accounts and procurement of material at exorbitant rates.
The CAGs report referred to Lakhimpur district and said Rs 35.82 lakh was paid fraudulently through 796 fake job card holders issued by seven gram panchayats (GPs) under two blocks. These GPs were found to have issued as many as 1,366 fake job cards.
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Two other districts – Darrang and Kamrup Darrang – were also found issuing 7,776 excess job cards,the report said.
The CAG also found cases of job cards being taken away from beneficiaries. In Kamrup district,four panchayati raj institution members reportedly seized job cards from 177 households in Dampur village while GP members of Saniadi village took away 238 job cards with post-office passbooks of the beneficiaries.
The Centres flagship programme was also marred by large-scale anomalies such as diversion and unauthorised utilisation of funds and procurement of material at high rates, Accountant General Kharshiing said.
He said,out of Rs 4152.54 crore made available during during 2007-12 for MGNREGS,as much as Rs 4060.48 crore was spent on generation of 100-day employment. Out of 39.21 lakh registered households only 3.54 lakh got employment for the mandated days. This works out to 12-37 days per households per year and 9.03 per cent of the total beneficiaries.