What is the news?
According to data sourced from the Management Information System (MIS) of the Ministry of Rural Development, in the last four years, Social Audit Units (SAU) under Rural Development Departments (RDD) across India have found financial misappropriation of Rs 935 crore under various schemes of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
- Only about Rs 12.5 crore of this amount — 1.34% — has been recovered so far.
- Financial misappropriation includes bribery, and payments to non-existent persons and to vendors for material procured at high rates.
Why recovery is slow?
- Lack of attention– State Rural Development Department are giving less attention towards the issue of financial misappropriation
- Determination of culpability– It is difficult to determine the culpability of the persons concerned for the irregularities
- Absence of Standard Operating Procedures
About Social Audit (SA):
- Section 17 of the MGNREG Act mandates social audit of all works in gram panchayats
- The Audit of Scheme Rules were notified in 2011, and The Auditing Standards for Social Audit were notified in 2016
- Social audit is a key parameter to judge the efficiency of states in management of finances under, Financial Management Index released by Rural Development Ministry
- The 2011 Rules say the state government will facilitate the social audit of work done under MGNREGA in every GP once every six months.
Terms to know: