The implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) — the world's largest social security scheme — in a transparent and accountable manner has come in for praise from India's transparency watchdog.
Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah in a letter to Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has sought speedy replication of the NREGA model in all major development initiatives financed by the panel.
The flagship job scheme was launched in February 2006 by the United Progressive Alliance government. It provides 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
The government has so far spent over Rs 40,000 crore under the NREGA, out of which around Rs 29,000 crore have been paid as wages to about 4.5 crore rural households.
Habibullah has suggested that a person should get all the information about government schemes at the click of a mouse. He said this would not only promote the concept of the Right to Information Act but also ensure the government's objective of making “real”participation of aam admi (common man) in the development process.
Acting on the letter, the Planning Commission has made it a pre-condition for sanctioning of funds for schemes carried out by different ministries.