Nabha officials do not even budget for rural job guarantee scheme | punjab$patiala | Hindustan Times
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Nabha officials do not even budget for rural job guarantee scheme

A Central government job guarantee scheme for poor in the rural parts of the country has been floundering in the Nabha area with more than 50% of gram panchayats in the block not even preparing budgetary estimates for the scheme — also called the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for this financial year.

punjab Updated: Oct 07, 2015 23:09 IST
Mohit Singla
HT has learnt that of the 172 panchayats, 98 have not budgeted for the MNREGA
HT has learnt that of the 172 panchayats, 98 have not budgeted for the MNREGA(HT Photos)

A Central government job guarantee scheme for poor in the rural parts of the country has been floundering in the Nabha area with more than 50% of gram panchayats in the block not even preparing budgetary estimates for the scheme — also called the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for this financial year.

HT has learnt that of the 172 panchayats, 98 have not budgeted for the scheme.

In the fiscal ended March 31, 2015, the block with 3,000 families below the Below Poverty Line (BPL) and thousands of unnamed and uncategorised poor, generated only 43,425 days of work demand under the minimum 100 days (now 150 days)/year/household.

“The pencil-pushers (the officialdom) find this scheme an unnecessary hassle since payments are done directly done into the accounts of the beneficiary,” said Kashmir Singh Gadayiya, a social activist.

Job cards not issued

With the officials simply indifferent to implementing the scheme, 84 workers of Thuhi village have been waiting for their job cards to be issued and completed for over two years.

Agitated and upset at the poor implementation of the scheme, MGNREGA workers of eight villages protested against the block development and panchayat office (BDPO) in Sauja and Surajpur for non-allocation of work and the non-payment of unemployment allowance, one month since they has petitioned for work.

46 workers enrolled under the MGNREGA from Ageti village were assigned work at far-off villages and were simply sent away by the panchayats after putting them through a long wait. Twenty five laborers from Kansuha Khurd were also left to fend for themselves.

Aware of the shoddy working of the scheme, the Centre had, way back on May 31, 2013, has issued an advisory calling for greater use of technology in the form of an Interactive Voice Response System for registration. Funds were also allocated for NREGA IT component to bring the accounts of panchayats online.

LOOKING FOR RELIEF

•84 workers of Thuhi village have been waiting for their job cards to be issued and completed for over two years

•46 workers enrolled under the MGNREGA from Ageti village were assigned work at far-off villages and were simply sent away by the panchayats after putting them through a long wait

WHAT THEY SAY

“The panches and the sarpanches must give up the habit of pleading before block in-charges, MLAs and office-bearers for grants from the money that belongs to the people. The scheme must be made to work,” Gurmeet Singh Thuhi, social activist said.

“A number of MGNREGA projects are being carried out. I appeal to the irrigation department, the drains department and others to send demands for workers under the scheme.” Harkirat Singh, Nabha BDPO said.

“There are some old payments that were due, but we have now resolved all issues. We have made remarkable progress in the implementation of the scheme,” ADC development, Rajesh Tripathia said.

“The pencil-pushers (the officialdom) find this scheme an unnecessary hassle since payments are done directly done into the accounts of the beneficiary,” Kashmir Singh Gadayiya, a social activist said.