MPs take interest in NREGA to ensure accountability: Raghuvansh

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New Delhi, Mar 29 (UNI) With the National Rural Employment Gurantee Act coming into force in the remaining 274 districts of the country from April, the Centre has urged MPs to take personal interest in its implementation to ensure accountability and transparency.

In a letter to MP's, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that his ministry has notified the commencement of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in all the remaining 274 districts of the country from April 1, bringing all the rural areas of the country within the ambit of the Act.

In the new districts, efforts have to be made to ensure that there is proper planning of projects for every Gram Panchayat so that work can be provided whenever any demand arises. For this purpose, the annual shelf of projects must be kept ready with administrative and technical sanction. Implementation of measures for transparency and public accountability such as proper maintenance and disclosure of public records including muster rolls, job cards, measurement books, case records, employment registers, must be ensured.

Social audit by the Gram Sabha of all the projects is a vital component of the Act that must be undertaken meticulously. Effective grievance redressal mechanism should be established and disposal of complaints should be ensured. Vigilance and Monitoring Committees must be properly constituted at the village and district levels and made effective. Constant verification of works and muster rolls should be undertaken to prevent malpractices in the execution of works, he said.

Referring to the success of Rural Development programmes the minister said till the end of February, 2008, his ministry has been able to invest Rs 13,101.5 crores in rural areas out of which Rs.8,892.45 crores have been spent on wages generating employment for 3.07 crore rural households.

With this investment 121.64 crore persondays have been generated out of which 42.13 per cent is accounted for by women, 27 per cent by SC and 30 per cent by ST groups. Altogether, 15.6 lakh projects have been taken up out of which 63.19 per cent are water related which enhance land productivity.

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