Need for transparency in NREGA implementation: Mr Singh

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Mumbai, Feb 20 (UNI) Union Minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today emphasised on the need for transparency and vigilance in the implmentation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in the state and said that if the scheme is implemented properly in all the rural areas, the influx from the rural areas to the urban areas will come down.

The Union Minister said that if the villagers are able to earn a decent income in the rural areas, they will not go to the urban areas or bigger cities and the influx problem will be solved to some extent.

After reviewing the implementation of the scheme in the state, Mr Singh said that there is no shortage of money for the various schemes in the state and the authorities need to implement the schemes at a bigger level.

''The number of districts under the scheme in the state should increase rapidly,'' he said.

On the non-utilisation of funds in the state, the Union Minister said that the scheme is demand driven and the non-utilisation does not mean a failure or setback for the scheme.

He said that the government should consider payment of workers' wages through post office and bank accounts for ensuring transparency, as there are chances of the alloted funds getting misused.

Andhra Pradesh has 100 per cent post office accounts for the villagers and Karnataka is in a similar position, whereas a few districts in Jharkhand are also working through accounts, Mr Singh said.

He said that the nationalised banks should help the people in the rural areas by opening their accounts in the rural branches.

Harshvardhan Patil, the state Employment Guarantee Scheme Minister said that the state has alloted Rs 460 crore under the NREGA and has spent Rs 102 crore for the same last year, and has undertaken 9328 works out of which 1678 works are completed.

Mr Patil refuted the allegations that the funds were not fully utilised, adding that the demand for the schemes was less than expected and more than two lakh families have been benefitted.

The cabinet will take the decision on the unutilised funds, he added.

UNI JN SR AK BST2034

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