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'MNREGA irregularities to be probed'

Union Minister for Rural Development Vilasrao Deshmukh today said that irregularities in the implementation of MNREGA in Gujarat would be probed.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2011 16:07 IST

Union Minister for Rural Development Vilasrao Deshmukh today said that irregularities in the implementation of MNREGA in Gujarat would be probed.

"The irregularities in implementation of MNREGA in Gujarat will be probed. The assistance given to the state under this flagship scheme of Centre will have to be stopped if the need arises," Deshmukh told reporters here. The Centre has an outlay of Rs 40,000 crore in the 2011-12 budget for MNREGA. Deshmukh also alleged that the fund utilisation under various central assisted schemes in Gujarat was dismal.

"In 2010-11 the Centre sanctioned Rs 996 crore to Gujarat under MNREGA while the opening balance with the state was of Rs 272 crore taking the total grant to Rs 1,268 crore. However, of that, only a meagre amount of Rs 825 crore has been spent so far," he said. The central assistance to Gujarat in schemes like Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana has been Rs 322 crore, of which, Rs 263 crore was spent, while out the Rs 779 crore grant under the Indira Awas Yojana, Rs 690 crore was spent, Deshmukh said.

The Minister also expressed displeasure over the alleged non-functional gram sabhas (village meets) in Gujarat, where Panchyati Raj model of governance finds prominence like Maharasthra. Holding no gram sabhas was not a good thing as development works in a village are supposed to be discussed at these meetings. "The way I have been told it seems they are dys-functional," Deshmukh said. He said that there should be only three 'sabhas' including- gram sabha, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.