Govt constitutes Expert Group on NREGA

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New Delhi, May 1 (UNI) The Ministry of Rural Development has decided to constitute the Expert Group under the Chairmanship of Moolchand Sharma, Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission for examining institutional mechanisms for the establishment of Ombudsman under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

The Expert Group will examine instructional mechanisms for grievance redressal under NREGA in the states. It will recommend an appropriate institutional mechanism for redressal of grievances under the NREG Act. It will also co-opt such members as it may consider necessary.

It will hold its meeting on regular intervals as per requirement.

It will also interact with the state governments and other stake holders to examine all the issues. The Ministry of Rural Development will provide requisite support in this regard. The group will submit its report within six weeks of its constitution.

The members of the group include Ram Lubhaya, Principal Secretary, Rural Development, Government of Rajasthan, S M Vijayanad, Secretary, Rural Development, Government of Kerala, K Raju, Principal Secretary, Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Ashk Ali Tak, member CEGC and Dr B D Sharma, member CGEC.

In addition, the Joint Secretary (NREGA) Ministry of Rural Development and representative from the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Panchayati Raj and Chief Vigilance Commission will be the others members of the Expert Group.

Since its operation in all rural areas of the country from April 1 this year, the Act provides for enhancement of livelihood security for the rural households. Labour intensive works are being funded under the Scheme formulated under the Act for generating employment of 121.64 crore persons per day for 3.08 crore households with an investment of Rs 13,101.50 crore. In the implementation of the programme, District Programme Coordinators and programme officers along with their staff, Panchayat Raj Institutions, Gram Sabhas, Line Departments and NGOs are involved.

Considering the huge scale of programme and the large number of stake holders involved, there is likelihood of malpractices. In fact, large number of complaints are being received in the Ministry on which the state governments are being asked to take remedial actions.

National level Monitors and Area Officers of the Ministry are also conducting special enquiries on those complaints. However, the mechanisms for handling of grievances and complaints need to be further streamlined.

UNI AJ BDP KN1856

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