PAC unhappy with quality of assets created under MNREGA

New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) A Parliamentary Committee hasexpressed concern over the quality of assets created under theMahatma Gandhi NREGA, which, it said, were by and largesub-standard, non-durable and non-productive.

The observations were made by the Public AccountsCommittee, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, onthe implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural EmploymentGuarantee Act in a report tabled in the Lok Sabha today.

The Rural Development Ministry replied to this in itsaction taken report that it was working on convergence ofvarious projects/assets under MNREGA and that this activitywas yet to fructify, making it premature to assess the impactof the initiatives in creating durable and tangible assets.

The report also said it was "utterly dissatisfied" tonote that the action taken reply of the ministry was"conspicuously silent" with regards to the steps taken forprovision of facilities like drinking water, medical aid etcat work sites in 14 states.

On the issue of payment of wages through banks and postoffices, the PAC report welcomed certain steps adopted by theministry in post office saving rules.

The committee, however, pulled up the ministry for "beingsilent" with regard to action taken on its recommendation thatno minimum account balances are stipulated by banks and postoffices in respect of MNREGA schemes.

Concerning social audit process in MNREGA schemes, thePAC said in its report that the ministry''s idea of setting upthe office of ombudsman in the states/UTs was a step in theright direction.

"With a view to maintain transparency and accountabilityof the scheme, the ministry has selected 61 eminent citizensfor independent monitoring of works under MNREGA," the PACreport said.

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