Govt needs to plug loopholes, minimise irregularities, in implementation of NREGA in times when it is most needed

News: Social audit has been conducted in Jharkhand for the implementation of the MGNREGA scheme where so many loopholes were visible. This questions the effective implementation of the MGNREGA scheme.

What is the importance of MGNREGA?

MGNREGA played a critical role in alleviating economic hardship as migrations increased and non-farm employment opportunities declined. In 2020–21, 11.19 core individuals worked under the scheme, where the count is 7.88 crore in 2019-20.

In the current financial year, 9.52 crore individuals have benefited from it. Apart from the budget allocation, additional allocations have been also made to meet the rising demands. The government has increased schemes allocation to 1.1 lakh Crore in 2020–21. So discrepancies coming up in the implementation of MGNREGA like in Jharkhand are a cause of concern.

Also read: MGNREGA: Issues and Significance – Explained, pointwise
What are the irregularities found in the Jharkhand audit?

The social audit unit (SAU) of the Rural Development Department of Jharkhand has documented several instances of irregularities. For example:

-Workers were listed on the records but were missing from work sites.

-Beneficiaries had struck deals with contractors, allowing their names to be used on muster rolls in exchange for a cut.

-Instances of delays in payment, no attendance recorded in master rules, no material supply despite payments, wage payment done without work and work not found on the ground.

What should be the way forward?

Audits serve a great purpose in identifying the gaps in the social security architecture. It provides the direction to strengthen systems and processes, especially during these stressful times. States should adopt measures to ensure that irregularities are minimised and effective implementation of schemes should be ensured.

Source: This post is based on the article “Govt needs to plug loopholes, minimise irregularities, in implementation of NREGA in times when it is most needed” published in the Indian Express on 15th January 2022.

Print Friendly and PDF