Minister's remark on NREG implementation politically motivated

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Bhubaneswar,Jul 3 (UNI) Orissa Panchayatiraj Minister Raghunath Mohanty today dubbed Union Minister for state planning and implementation V Narayan Swami's remark on implementation of NREGS in Orissa as politically motivated.

The Union Minister, who was here to review the progress of the centrally sponsored schemes being implemented in the state, told newspersons that out of Rs 810.99 crore released to the state government, only Rs 379 crore had been spent.

Mr Swamy said during his field visit and interaction with the people, he came across several complaints of job cards not being issued to the beneficiaries and people were not provided job.

The Union Minister said he had drawn the attention of the senior officials of the state on the under-utilisation of funds and the irregularities and asked them to rectify it.

Mr Mohanty said during 2007-08 out of the 780.76 crore received 671.30 crore amounting 86 per cent of the fund had been spent. During 2008-09 the union government did not release funds in time under the scheme despite repeated request.

However, it released only Rs 200 crore after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik intervened.

He said till July 2008 46.97 lakh job cards were distributed and the Ganjam district of the state stood second in the whole country in the implementation of the scheme.

The Panchayat Raj Minister regretted that Mr Swamy made the statement keeping in mind the coming election and urged the Centre to refrain from making such statements .

UNI BD KK/src2028

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