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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Another MNREGA scam stares UP in the face

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Lucknow, November 29, 2013
First Published: 09:46 IST(29/11/2013) | Last Updated: 09:49 IST(29/11/2013)

Uttar Pradesh may be sitting over yet another scam to the tune of Rs. 500 crore in the implementation of Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).

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A sample scrutiny of the management information systems (MIS) data indicates ‘zero labour’ component works in many districts of the state, alleged Sanjay Dixit, Congress leader and member of Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (under union rural development ministry), on Thursday.

“Around 5000 zero labour component works involving an amount of Rs. 500 crore have been carried out in 65 districts in the past three years,” said Dixit while speaking to media persons here on Thursday.

Dixit also handed over MIS data documents of some districts to the media.

“Although ‘zero labour’ cases had come to the notice of the centre as well as the state government, no effective measures have been apparently taken to check them. Such cases have been reported from these districts even after directives and warning against doing so,” said Dixit.

Besides being reported from Lucknow, ‘zero labour’ component cases have been reported even from Rae Bareli, Amethi and Jhansi.

While Rae Bareli and Amethi are the Lok Sabha constituencies of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi respectively, Jhansi is the Lok Sabha seat of Union minister of state for rural development Pradeep Jain Aditya.

“Some officers called such cases as technical errors in feeding the MIS data. So, the state government wide a GO issued on September 11, 2011 asked all the district magistrates to take special care of MIS feeding saying FIR should be lodged against those responsible for any incorrect data entry,” said Dixit.

As per the GO, the chief development officer (CDO) and project director were to be held responsible for any incorrect MIS data at the district level while the block development officer (BDO) and programme officer would get the blame for incorrect entry at the block level.

Dixit said he had also sent a letter to Union minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh demanding that the minister should order a CBI inquiry into the role of his ministry which had remained a mute spectator to the scam.

Dixit said the Cenre should stop allocation of funds to the state government for failing to act in the matter.

Dixit said he had filed a compliant at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow last month for registering cases against officers of 47 districts for alleged misappropriation of funds under the administrative head of the MNREGA.


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