The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has indicted the state government for failing to achieve the women’s employment target under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) during the Mayawati regime from 2007 to 2012.
The MNREGS is the central government’s flagship scheme launched by UPA 1 in 2005.
In its report tabled in the state assembly on Monday, the CAG pointed out that as against the target of 33%, 18% to 22% employment to women was achieved.
Moreover, violating the centre’s guideline on identifying job seekers through door-to-door surveys, the implementing a g ency adopted a faulty method of seeking applications to issue job cards, the report said.
Even as the UPA government laid special emphasis on providing 100 days’ employment per year, under previous BSP regime only 2.3 to 6.80% wage seekers could get jobs for the required number of days.
However, in some cases, households were provided more than 100 days of employment.
Referring to management of the scheme, the CAG said support at the gram panchayat, block and district levels was limited due to shortage of staff, which too was against the administrative patter n explained by the centre.
There was also lack of comprehensive planning, information, education and communication, the CAG said, adding state employment guarantee council (SEGC) also failed to meet as per the guidelines.
Similarly, NREGS cell also did not cross-check utilisation of Rs. 2560.63 crore for which 51 districts had submitted utilisation certificate.
The expenditure was more than the certificate, the CAG noted.
While the consolidated annual accounts were not prepared during the Mayawati regime (2007-2012), the accounts prepared at the district level and below did not give a “true and fair picture” of the expenditure.
Moreover, the financial management system was also inadequate leading to adoption of different criteria for transfer of funds at various points.
The report said analysis of the data showed that there was significant decline of 14.54% in providing employment in 2011-12 as compared to the previous fiscal.
The CAG said the lowest priority works of rural connectivity roads were highest priority while high priority water conservation and water harvesting were at the bottom of the agenda. Besides inadmissible works were also executed, the report said and added vigilance and monitoring committees were not constituted in a large number of villages.