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States spend crores, fail to show work

Despite the Rs 5,631 crore — to be the highest in the country, which the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh had spent under the MG-NREGA in 2010-11, but it failed to show any good work carried by it.

delhi Updated: Jan 04, 2012 23:04 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

Despite the Rs 5,631 crore — to be the highest in the country, which the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh had spent under the MG-NREGA in 2010-11, but it failed to show any good work carried by it.

Its not just Uttar Pradesh, but half of the states did not find any work worth to be nominated for a national award for best performing panchayats in implementation of NREGA in 2010-11.

There was no nomination from Bihar, where the Nitish government is said to be improving implementation and spent Rs 2,664 crore.

The annual budget of NREGA launched by the UPA in 2006 to provide rural livelihoods is Rs 40,000 crore. The award is to be given by the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh on February 2. After the extension of deadline, which lapsed, the panchayati raj ministry received 72 nominations.

The ministry would evaluate performance indicators like job cards given, work provided, works carried, payments, social audits and work site inspections and send to the rural development ministry.

The RD ministry initiated the awards for 2009-10 to recognise grass-roots institutions making the scheme a success. Though the response was low last year ‘due to short notice’, officials had expected a good number of nominations this time.

Despite the ministry sending several reminders the response was poor. When contacted, a UP panchayati raj official, said they had forwarded the file to the rural development department ‘and did not know what happened next.

Rural development minister, Jairam Ramesh, recently wrote to CM Mayawati pointing lapses/corruption in NREGA.

Tamilnadu had sent some of the best proposals. While Haryana and Rajasthan nominated nine gram panchayats, none came from Jharkhand, officials said. Andhra Pradesh, often quoted as best performer by Ramesh has sent five names, in place of a formal nomination, which were rejected. Same is the case with Assam and Uttarakhand.