Performance Audit Of NREGA Shows How Scheme Is Being Poorly Implemented In J&K

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Nasir Azam
Srinagar: The performance audit of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Jammu & Kashmir by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has revealed that the scheme is being poorly implemented in J&K.

In its report, which was placed in the Parliament last week, the CAG has brought to fore that long term developmental perspective for all districts could not be ensured due to non-preparation of perspective plans.

“Delays in submission of labour budgets led to late release of funds by Government of India and delayed payment of wage,” reads the report, a copy of which is with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

The auditor has pointed out that un-reconciled closing balances, non-accountal of bank interest of Rs 1.20 crore in the financial statements, delayed release of funds, short-release of state share of Rs 107.08 crore and excess expenditure of Rs 22.85 crore on administrative charges reflected poor financial management which was equivalent to non-generation of 83.78 lakh person days of employment.

The CAG has also laid bare that no unemployment allowances were paid to the job card holders who demanded jobs but could not be provided.

“Further, 19 percent person days employment could be provided to women beneficiaries against the norm of 33 per cent,” it said, adding that wage payment in 77 per cent cases was not paid within the prescribed time of 15 days and 40 per cent wage payments were made after delay of more than 90 days.

It has also revealed that execution of works under the Scheme showed weakness.

“While 14,211 works included in the approved Annual Action Plans were not executed, 2,281 unapproved works were executed which led to unauthorised expenditure of Rs 32.67 crore and revealed improper planning and non-involvement of public representatives before framing the Annual Action Plans,” it states.

According to the report, non-maintenance of wage material ratio led to excess expenditure of Rs 277.69 crore on material component with consequent non-generation of 1.74 crore person days employment.

“Non-accountal and non-utilisation of material worth Rs 0.29 crore procured in excess of requirement has the risk of misappropriation and pilferage,” it states.

The report also reveals that delay in completion of works taken under 13th Finance Commission in convergence with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme non-maintenance of wage material ratio led to diversion of Rs 1.26 crore, time overrun and cost overrun of Rs 1.13 crore in two blocks.

“Non-maintenance of essential data/ records regarding inspection of works, job seekers details, assets, etc. and mismatch in data provided/ uploaded on Management Information System revealed poor monitoring. The Department has neither constituted the monitoring committees to monitor the quality of works nor appointed Ombudsmen to deal with complaints,” reads the report.

According to the report, independent surveys and assessment by audit showed that implementation of the Scheme was left with various gaps in terms of achieving wage employment, sectoral target achievements, coverage, awareness and participation—(KNO)

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