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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Bihar rejects CAG finding, says MGNREGA suffering fund crunch

PTI  Patna, April 24, 2013
First Published: 20:23 IST(24/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:26 IST(24/4/2013)

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday told the Centre that implementation of MGNREGA was suffering due to non-availability of funds even as the state government rejected CAG findings on the ambitious rural job scheme as totally "untrue and deceptive".

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"I have recently reviewed the implementation of MGNREGA in the state and it has been noticed that progress of implementation is suffering due to non-availability of funds," Kumar said in a letter written to union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh.

The CM cited certain instances to drive home the point.

"It is alarming to note that during the year 2012-13, in spite of the approval of the labour budget by ministry of rural development, not a single regular instalment has been released to the state," he said.

Ministry of rural development had approved a labour budget of Rs. 3,44,645 lakh. As per provision, 50% is required to be released as first instalment but so far only two adhoc release of Rs. 700 crore and Rs. 234 crore has been made, he told Ramesh.

On 14th January, the state government had sent a proposal for release of Rs. 1000 crores in view of the liabilities and requirements for the remaining period of the current financial year.

"It has been reported that only Rs. 50 crore is being released by the union rural development ministry," the Bihar CM added.

Highlighting a grim situation, he pointed out that 2167 gram panchayats out of 8442 gram panchayats have less than Rs. one lakh left. The state government has already put in state resources to the tune of Rs. 462 crore as advance to bridge the gap, he said.

Kumar urged Ramesh to intervene in the matter and release at least Rs. 1000 crore immediately to Bihar.

Meanwhile, the state government on Wednesday disputed the CAG report on MNGREGA, presented in Parliament yesterday, which indicated that only 20% of the central resources were utilised in Bihar.

"This is totally untrue and deceptive," Bihar rural development minister Nitish Mishra said in a statement.


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