Lapses galore in MGNREGS scheme implementation

IMPHAL, July 12: The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), one of the flagship programmes taken up in the state under the sponsorship of Government of India which aims at providing wage-employment to the rural households of the villages and hills is today reduced to a pathetic condition.

Reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India which was tabled on July 4, the last day of recent Manipur Legislative Assembly sitting has said that several related officials including from Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RD & PR), Government of Manipur were found inappropriately working beyond the formulated guidelines of the scheme.

The tabled CAG Report No. 21 of 2013 clearly stated that funds sanctioned under the Ministry of Rural Development (MORD), Government of India and with regards to MGNREGS’s Rule No 26 of General Financial Rules, 2005 cannot be diverted for other purposes rather than the entrusted works of the scheme.

However, certain amounts of funds sanctioned under the MORD, Government of India have been utilized by diverting for other purposes.

The works taken up after diversion of the funds are, “In Tamenglong, Churchandpur and Imphal East districts, 55 construction works were taken up at the DC’s offices and residential bungalows at a cost of Rs 5.04 crores (Imphal East- Rs 0.72 crores; Tamenglong- Rs 1.51 crores and Churchandpur- Rs 2.79 crores) by diverting from the funds earmarked for administrative expenses released by the Government of India”.

The report further said that the District Programme Coordinator (DPC), Tamenglong during 2007-2012 utilised an amount of Rs 45 lakhs on repair of vehicles, petrol, jungle clearance, spare parts of vehicles etc. Similarly, the DPC, Churachandpur during 2008-2011 utilised an amount of Rs 36.93 lakhs on purchase of petrol, television, sofa set, medical re-imbursement, construction of suspension bridge etc.

Utlisation of funds provided for administrative expense for construction works, purchase of television and sofa set resulted in the diversion of funds.

In their reply, the DPC, Tamenglong had on January, 2013 stated that the construction of Multipurpose hall for conducting training/meeting and construction of godown for MGNREGS were done to provide safe and secured working environment in the office and that no expenditure was incurred for jungle clearance.

The reply was not acceptable as the funds provided for the administrative expenses were not meant for construction of infrastructure and in the cash book of the DPC, an expenditure of Rs 1.60 lakhs was shown to have been incurred for jungle clearance.

The DPC, Churachandpur on the other hand in their reply on January, 2013 admitted that the expenditure on construction of suspension bridge was wrongly debited to administrative expenses saying that it has now been corrected.

It further said that the petrol was used for inspection of works at district level and furniture for DPC office and MIS room.

The reply was not acceptable as the district level inspection was done more than the requirement 10 percent of 6079 i.e 608 works were required for district level inspection. Against this, 1820 works were inspected i.e 199 percent in excess.

The DPC, Imphal East on January, 2013 had also stated that the seven civil works for creation of infrastructure at the DC office for effective implementation of MGNREGS as DC/DPC office, Imphal East have no proper office of its own. However, in future no expenditure on civil works would be incurred, it said.

Further, it also paid an advance of Rs 37.33 lakhs on November 2011 to Women and Children Guideline Centre, Imphal for organising training programme (project duration : 6 months from the date of sanction) of representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions and officials of MGNREGS.

However, it could not produce the relevant records such as number of participants, date of organising the training, materials provided, honorarium of resource persons etc.

As per Rule No 150 of GFR, the estimated value of goods to be procured is up to Rs 25 lakhs and limited tender method involving more than three supplier firms is to be employed.

However, the test check records of the Imphal East DPC revealed that various forms pertaining to MGNREGS amounting to Rs 51.61 lakhs were printed during 2007-2011 without calling tenders (as shown in Appendix 1.3).

As the forms were printed without call of tender, the reasonability of the rates could not be ascertained.

Further, the DPC could not produce stock receipt and issue registers. Thus, in the absence of stock receipt and issue register, the actual receipt of the printed forms could not be ascertained.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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