Ensure NREGA payments through Bank/Post Office Accounts: Raghuvansh

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today said a National Helpline would be launched for complaints regarding malpractices in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP)and impressed upon the states for the transparent implementation of the programme.

Addressing a two day-long Performance Review Committee (PRC) meeting with Rural Development Secretaries of all the States/UTs for a quarterly review of all the Centrally-sponsored schemes launched by his ministry here, Dr Singh said the basic purpose of the NREGA is to check the distress migration and provide a demand-based job plate form to people living in the rural areas.

He said the provision for a National Help Line Number is an innovative step for making any kind of complain related with malpractices and ask the states to follow suit. He reiterated for the opening of Bank/ Post Office Account of Rural Labors to put an end on the reported misappropriation of funds in this head. He said deliberations with Banks/Post Offices are underway to streamline the process in this regard.

He asked the states to fix a date preferably in September or October this year, after which cash payment for NREGA wages to become illegal and urged the states to ensure that entire payment is made through Bank/ Post Office Account. In case there are no such branches, the practice of Business Correspondent should be adopted, the Minister added.

Dr Singh referred to the financial uplift of rural masses under the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) and said his ministry was trying to ensure that people registered with the Self Help Groups (SHGs) can earn at least Rs 3000 per month as additional income necessary for their sustenance. He spoke of the Rural Development Self Employment Training Institute (RUDSETI) and called for ensuring proper training, financial assistance and placement of rural artisans.

The Minister referred to the Janshree Bima Yojana (JBY) and the Health Insurance Schemes for NREGA workers under the Financial Inclusion measures and asked the states to ensure dissemination of information on this subject from all avenues. He also referred to the Rozgar Jagrookta Puraskar launched by his Ministry and asked the states to publicise the benefits of new directives.

Dr Singh also urged them to strengthen the Vigilance Machinery and ensure the execution of Central, Directives. He urged for fair amount of transparency, peoples participation, strict vigilance and monitoring and accountability during the implementation and emphasised that the entire information be placed on public domain and websites including the allocation details.

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