With the Centre consenting to a CBI probe into alleged corruption in the rural job guarantee scheme in Orissa, the state government on Saturday said it was ready to face any inquiry and would fully cooperate with the investigating agency.
"We are ready to face inquiry by any agency into alleged irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGA. If a CBI probe is formally ordered, we will extend full cooperation to the agency," Orissa panchayati raj minister Prafulla Samal told reporters. The state government was not afraid of probe "in any form by any agency", Samal said, adding, "We are fully committed to effect transparency and accountability in the process of implementation of MGNREGA."
The minister said those found involved in irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGA would be taken to task and the state vigilance department had already conducted inquiries, surprise checks and registered 111 cases involving 239 officials and personnel of different categories.
In all, 26 officials have been chargesheeted and 47 referred for departmental action, while investigation was in progress against the rest of the accused, he said.
In addition, 532 people were brought within the purview of punitive provisions which resulted in recovery of Rs 17.03 lakh from 146 people, Samal said, adding, 263 proceedings have been initiated against block development officers, assistant engineers and junior engineers.
The minister's statement came on the heels of the Centre informing the Supreme Court that the consent for investigation into alleged misappropriation and diversion of funds for the scheme has been given by the ministry of rural development.