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Bihar,Jharkhand fail in rural development,NREGA implementation

By Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 19 (UNI) Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today said the governments of Bihar and Jharkhand have ''failed'' to deliver on the rural development front as they have been unable to utilise the funds allocated by the Centre for various schemes.

Dr Singh told reporters here that the two states have also lagged behind in implementing the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) properly.

Criticising the Bihar government for not making adequate number of forms required for work allocation under NREGA, he said, ''what could be expected from the government which is unable to meet the basic minimum need of the rural poor.'' Pointing out that the Nitish Kumar Government in Bihar had announced that it would implement NREGA in all the districts including those left out by the Centre in the phase one, he said on the ground level the implementation of the act was very poor in both Bihar and Jharkhand.

Dr Singh hailed Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh for doing much better in the implementation of NREGA. He said that 40 Central Monitors have been sent to various states for assessment of the programme and he would hold a meeting on April 27 to review the implementation of the programme.

Giving details of the allocations made by the Centre to both the states for various schemes, he said the performance of both the states was not adequate in fields like 'Pradhanmantri Gram Sarak Yojna', Sanitation Scheme and 'Swajaldhara Yojna' meant to provide rural connectivity, sanitation and drinking water respectively.

''The performance of both the governments in various schemes has not been upto the mark. They have not passed the performance criteria in many schemes while in others they have just obtained pass marks.

So, I would term them as a failure as far as rural development work is concerned,'' Dr Singh said.

Asked to compare the performance of the previous RJD government and the Nitish Kumar Government of Bihar, Dr Singh said the performance of the JD(U)-BJP coalition government in the state was not encouraging.

''If we go by the announements, the present government is making a lot of claims but on ground level the work is totally inadequate,'' he said.

He pointed out that the state government has included a provision that if in any district it has to pay the unemployment allowance to people for the inability to provide them employment within 15 days of applying under NREGA, the money would be deducted from the employees/ officials salary.

Due to this provision the officials are reluctant to register everyone under NREGA. He also cited pending vacancies of BDOs and COs in the state as a reason for the poor implementation of the scheme.

Dr Singh said that he has written to the Chief Ministers of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand asking them to make the forms available to every household. The ministry has advertised the scheme and also written to state governments, MPs and social activists and political parties seeking their cooperation in its implementation, he said.

All the state governments has been directed to publish the list of Below Poverty line families in each district and widely publicise it to bring transparency in the allotment of houses to poor people, Dr Singh noted.

''I have written to all the Chief Ministers in November giving them time till February this year and told that the allocation under Indira Awas Yojna will not be made if they failed to do it,'' he said and lamented that none of the states have sent a compliance report regarding this.

UNI AJ MA HT1757

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