A CAG report on Mahatma Gandhi-National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the UPA’s flagship social sector scheme has become the latest friction point between the government and the central audit body. While the Comptroller and Auditor General criticised the scheme run with over Rs. 30, 000 crore annually pointing large-scale discrepancies, the ministry of rural development slammed the report for ‘misrepresentation of facts’.
The second CAG report, covering a four-year period (April 2007 and March 2012) unlike the first on the initial one-year with NREGA limited to 200 districts, was interestingly in response to rural development minister Jairam Ramesh’s request to the auditor.
CAG on NREGA in numbers
|43 days - days of work per household in 2011-12, slipping from 54 days in 2009-10|
|Job cards were not issued to 12, 455 households in six state|
|In 31% of verified Panchayats, NREGA annual plans were not prepared or were prepared incompetently|
|Only 30% (39 lakh out of 129 lakh total) of the approved works completed|
|95 lakh cases of wrong wage calculation found in 18 States|
|1.1 lakh cases of wrong bill amounts for the purchased materials under the scheme|
|14,764 – duplicate job cards found in Ranchi district of Jharkhand alone|
|37,229 – workers not paid unemployment allowance in two districts of Assam|
|2,016 – ghost workers found in two Panchayats of Assam|
|In several States, social audits conducted poorly or not conducted at all|
|States - prominently Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana - do not maintain work inspection records|
|18 to 54% of the Gram Panchayats checked showed irregular NREGA records|
|39 – districts not visited by the national level monitors of the ministry even once between 2007-11|