In Mamata didi’s West Bengal, MGNREGS is deeply flawed

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MGNREGS deeply flawed in West Bengal.
NDA wants to make the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme (MGNREGS) which is a dream scheme of Congress president Sonia Gandhi more meaningful as the scheme has been receiving flak for quite some time now.

Introduced in 2006, the MGNREGA promised 100 days of employment every year to each rural household but eventually funds allotted for the scheme were misused rather than helping the poor.

Only 1.64% job seekers were employed under MGNREGS in Bengal

Thus. while presenting the Budget 2014 Jaitley said, "The wage employment would be provided under MGNREGS through works that are more productive, asset creating and substantially linked to agriculture and allied activities."

Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that Bengal is ‘number one' in implementing MGNREGS, but today even Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report has cleared that Bengal's performance is severely flawed in implementation of the same.

In a report tabled in the Assembly on Thursday, which has assessed a five year period (2007-2012), the CAG claimed so.

CAG report says West Bengal not number 1

Saying that the procedure of monitoring is flawed, the CAG was quoted as saying in The Hindu, "None of the sampled gram panchayats (GP) conducted door-to-door survey to identify persons willing to register." It also added that gram sabha was not held in any of the sampled GP tested by the CAG.

The report also said that neither the State government conducted any periodic survey nor any independent organisation at the State-level was appointed for social audit thus indicating ‘lack of transparency'.

It further said, "The State Employment Guarantee Council (SEGC) did not evaluate the impact of job guarantee scheme on ‘individual lives' and ‘no record available' that may indicate that the project was monitored at block or district level. Lack of proper monitoring mechanism has amplified problems. Funds could not be properly allocated, targets of long-term development could not be fixed and labour budgets formulated by the district programme co-ordinator ‘were found to be unrealistic'. Besides, a delayed payment of over Rs. 480 crore was observed in five districts, while ‘no compensation' was paid to workers."

Mamata didi's lie

Mamata had earlier claimed that the state topped the chart in 2012-13 with implementation of projects worth Rs 4475.80 crore, which is the highest in the country, and generated employment for 57.76 lakh families.

Quoting the Union Rural Development Ministry, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in April this year had said that West Bengal had emerged number one in terms of expenditure on employment generation under the 100-days work scheme.

"West Bengal is now number one state in the country in terms of expenditure on employment generation under 100-days work scheme as reported on April 23, 2014 in the website of the Union Rural Development Ministry, Government of India," Banerjee said.

But as per the CAG report, between 2007 and 2012, only 1.64 per cent of job seekers were provided 100 days employment in Bengal.

When the Rail Budget for 2014-15 was recently announced, Mamata didi had said, "Bengal has been given nothing, are we beggars." But madam Banerjee the question is when these funds were allocated why didn't you use them to benefit your people? Why employment was not given to the job seekers and why they were not helped?

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