Rajya Sabha members cutting across party lines were on Tuesday critical of the corruption, slow progress and several other lacunae in the implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
Speaking at a short duration discussion on the situation arising out the tardy implementation of NREG scheme they pointed out that funds were being siphoned, only one third of those with job cards got employment, cumbersome 21 page of application form existed.
Members called for greater transparency, monitoring and accountability in the scheme.
TDP leader RCS Reddy stated that there was "absolute mismanagement" at some places with job cards in the hands of middle men who were using these as ATM cards to collect money whenever they want.
Congress leader V Narayanasamy initiating the discussion said funds were being siphoned and there was misuse by officers and sarpanches responsible for implementation of the scheme.
"Pick and choose policy is being followed to identify the beneficiaries for being given job cards," he said. In some places Rs 20 was being collected for the job card and photograph from tribals, in some cards there is no photograph of the beneficiary, he said.
With connivance of officers money was collected showing manual labour done but work is done on machines violating the guidelines, he added.
Even though 90 per cent of the money for the scheme is coming from the Central government several state governments were putting up big hoardings and advertising the scheme as theirs and spending 15 per cent of the money on publicity, he alleged.
BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu pointed out while Rs 20,000 crore is required per year for the scheme the government had allocated only Rs 6,000.
He called for penal provisions to be incorporated into the scheme to put a sense of fear and responsibility on people executing it.