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After Jairam nudge,govt steps up utilisation targets

Taking serious note of the letter sent by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav five days ago,the UP government has fixed three months’ utilisation target of Rs 2,000 crore for 75 districts across the state under MGNREGA.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Published: April 20, 2013 2:18:57 am

Taking serious note of the letter sent by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav five days ago,the UP government has fixed three months’ utilisation target of Rs 2,000 crore for 75 districts across the state under MGNREGA.

A letter marked “priority,time-bound” was sent by the government to all DMs on Friday,fixing individual targets and asking them to make “daily,weekly,fortnightly and monthly” work plans for the scheme in their districts and review it regularly.

In his letter on April 15,Ramesh had said that UP got less funds in the previous financial year because of low utilisation certificates sent by the state. He had also said that the his ministry could review the allotment of funds to UP in July after review of work generated and expenditure made in the first quarter of the current year.

As a result,the state government has set specific targets for the months of “April,May and June” and district magistrates have been asked to ensure implementation till the grassroots level.

“The state has not yet received the first instalment of this financial year but unlike last year,we have decided that we will create the liabilities first and the payments would be made accordingly after the funds are sent by the Government of India (GoI),” informed a government officer.

The districts magistrates have been asked to explore the possibilities of work under special novel projects,construction of toilets,undertaking plantation,water conservation and other such projects that fall under MGNREGA and have the capacity to generate more labour days. They have been informed that pending dues would be cleared as and when the funds are released from the GoI.

Sources in the state government said that in order to ensure that the task is taken seriously,the government is likely to take action against some “non-performing” project directors in districts. Complaints have come that some of the project directors have misutilised “contingency amount” under the scheme,which has led to a shortage of funds meant for payment of contractual staff.

The chief minister is likely to write a letter to Jairam Ramesh soon,with all the figures of actual release of funds by the central government and demands made in the past by the state government.

In an another step to ensure better utilisation,Rural Development Minister Arvind Singh “Gope” has called a separate meeting with the Block Development Officers in Lucknow on April 24 and 25 to sort out their problems and ensure better utilisation.

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