The new rural development minister Jairam Ramesh is roping in the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to devise special audits for states where implementation of programmes such as NREGA is less than satisfactory.
According to the proposal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh would be assigned a special auditor general to audit the rural sector expenditure. This will include audit of panchayati raj institutions.
Last week’s reshuffle saw Ramesh elevated to the cabinet rank with a budget of R87, 800 crore (2011-12).
Unlike his earlier assignment in environment ministry, the challenge in rural development involves successful running of programmes such as NREGA, which has been plagued by fake muster rolls, incomplete works.
"For the last one week I am having sleepless nights thinking about proper implementation of programmes in the largest social sector ministry," Ramesh said. "We would set in place systems which would monitor the financial and physical performance. Everyone should question as where the money allocated is going.”
The special audit would also be for some better performing states like Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, Ramesh added.
The CAG, he said is devising a special audit system for the ministry programmes making it more frequent. The social audit rules for NREGA were notified last month, which specify at least two participatory audits at village level in a year.
On Tuesday, the ministry announced creation of Social Audit Directorates for NREGA in all states based on the Andhra Pradesh model.