News Hub

Performance of Odisha in implementation of MGNREGS is not up to the mark as expenditure of funds is the lowest in the country

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said performance of Odisha in implementation of MGNREGS is not up to the mark as expenditure of funds is the lowest in the country. Ramesh, who is on a two-day visit of the State, told mediapersons here that Odisha along with Bihar and Jharkhand should be spending more money under the scheme, but all the three states are lagging behind. Though poverty in Odisha is the highest in the country, expenditure under MGNREGS is the lowest, he said.Expenditure under the scheme in Odisha last year was Rs 1,000 crore, the minister said adding it will be between Rs 1,500 to 2,000 crore in 2012-13. However, if funds are properly spent based on the demand the expenditure should touch Rs 3,500 to 4,000 crore per annum, he said.“I feel the demand from the State for jobs under the MGNREGS is high, but the implementation is not as per the potential,” Ramesh said and added funds under the scheme are available. Raising questions over transparency in implementation of the scheme in the State, he said Odisha is the only State where CBI probe was ordered.The minister said to maintain transparency and accountability in the implementation of MGNREGS, which is highly necessary, every gram panchayat will now have to go through compulsory certificate by chartered accountant appointed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). Ramesh said for the first time implementation of all the rural development programmes will come under the audit of CAG. He said during the year, ` 99,000 crore will be spent across the country under rural development for creation of water supply, sanitation and other rural infrastructure.Criticising Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his stand __ Central neglect of Odisha __ Ramesh said last year 6,000 km of roads with an estimated cost of ` 2,500 crore was sanctioned for the State under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). “I expect that 6,000 km more roads will be sanctioned for the State under the PMGSY in 2012-13,” he said.Besides, during the last five years three lakh individual titles and 800 community rights have been given under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. Beneficiaries of the FRA, who are the poorest, will be entitled to an house under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY). He said the Rural Development Ministry has sanctioned ` 360 crore for IAY houses to one lakh beneficiaries in 28 districts.The minister said he has also written to the Chief Minister for transfer of control of bamboo transfer passbooks to the villages which have been given community rights under the FRA. He said the income of the gram sabha will increase manifold if the control is transferred to the gram sabha from the Forest Department.