Srinagar: Calling totally unfounded and beyond facts, the allegations of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regarding alleged underutilization and bungling in funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Member Secretary of the scheme in the state said the statement of PDP spokesperson was irresponsibly aired due to obvious political reasons.
The serious allegation leveled that this flagship programme is being implemented through the new class of rural exploiters and the commission agents of the Govt. exposes the very mindset of the those criticising the 100% implementation of the scheme, the Member Secretary said in a statement.
He said the allegations that the state Govt was sponsoring its political functions through MGNREGA funds are totally baseless and unfounded which show the political bankruptcy of the PDP.
He said the scheme is actually implemented through the Gram Panchayati Raj Institutions in J&K; the school of thought never wants the grass-root level democratic institutions to get strengthened.
The way panchayati raj institutions are involved right from the planning process marked by the preparation of the annual shelf of projects and the annual labour demand projection under MGNREGA and then 100% implementation through the these village level PRIs, appear not to have suited the leaders of the opposition, who apparently are finding it extremely difficult to share the political power with the grass root level democratically elected panches and sarpanches who are implementing this flagship programme very successfully, the statement reads.
The PDP spokes person without proper scrutiny of the MGNREGA figures, which are in public domain through Computerized MIS (NREGASoft) on the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, has alleged that during the period of last four years since 2009-10 GoI has released Rs. 1700 crore in favour of the state of J&K and that the state not been able to spent more than 50% of the MGNREGA funds received from Govt. of India, he added.
Dismissing the PDP spokespersons allegations, he said, Contrary to these baseless allegations the factual position is that the scheme was launched in February 2006 initially in three districts of the state in first phase when PDP was in power in the state. The year wise off-take of the MGNREGA funds from MoRD, Govt. of India during the PDP rule from 2006 to 2008 was Rs. 29.18 crore in 2006-07, Rs. 69.14 crore in 2007-08 and Rs. 98.82 crore in 2008-09.
Whereas, after the PDP rule in the state the year wise off-take of central funds under MGNREGA has been: Rs. 138.21 crore in 2009-10, Rs. 321.49 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 781.15 crore in 2011-12 and till December 2012 in the current FY it is Rs. 457.34 crore. The year wise figures of the 10% state matching share released by the state government from time to time are also in public domain which are Rs. 3.32 crore in 2006-07, Rs. 6.18 crore in 2007-08, Rs. 15.78 crore in 2008-09, Rs. 18.86 crore in 2009-10, Rs. 50.46 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 70.74 crore in 2011-12 and Rs. 71.58 crore of state matching share has already been released during the current FY upto December 2012-13 which is sufficient to lift Rs. 715.80 crore of Central releases under the scheme in the current financial year, the approved labour budget for the current FY 2012-13 is Rs. 1077.51 crore(90% being the anticipated central releases equalling Rs. 970 crore approximately), he added.
He said it would be essential to highlight the figures of year wise expenditure under MGNREGA in the state which of course are also in public domain to expose the blatant lie of the PDP spokesperson according to whom since 2009-10 the state received Rs.1800 crore from Govt. of India and has been able to spend only 50% of it till date.
The year wise expenditure figures since the inception of the scheme are Rs. 35.11 crore in 2006-07, Rs. 65.26 crore in 2007-08, Rs. 86.90 crore in 2008-09, Rs. 194.42 crore in 2009-10, Rs. 378.28 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 776.72 crore in 2011-12 and in the current FY 2012-13 upto December 2012 an amount of Rs. 430 crore has been spent generating 20853900 mandays of employment in the current year. Anybody challenging these figures and the transparency mechanism like disbursement of wage payment directly into the MGNREGA labourer’s bank/post office accounts and public disclosure of the scheme related information on NREGASoft and through Social audits being adopted under the implementation of this flagship programme is living in a fool’s paradise, the statement added.
He said there could be odd incidents of irregularities in the implementation of such a huge programme touching and affecting every rural household of the state, but the state Govt. has been very tough and transparent in taking strict action against anybody found involved in any kind of irregularities in the implementation in the scheme. Those raising baseless allegations agianst the intentions of the Govt. cannot specify a single example where the authorities of the state department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj headed by its Minister have shown any laxity or have slept over any complaint of irregularity in MGNREGA implementation.
The allegations of the PDP spokesperson that the selection of the contractual supporting staff recruited on contractual basis under MGNREGA has been politicised by the present Government is mere political mudslinging and there is not a single example to substantiate this criticism by the PDP
Can PDP spokes person answer when this NREGA was introduced during the tenure of their party in the state, why the Government headed by their party kept sleeping over the recruitment process under MGNREGA and when the present Government has been successful in providing job opportunities to thousands of unemployed youth of the state under this programme. Why they see only wrong in it and cant show the courage to applaud the initiative of the present Government, the official said in the statement.
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