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MGNREGS implementation in Jaintia Hills weak

From Our Correspondent

JOWAI: Implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in West Jaintia Hills particularly under the Thadlaskein Community and Rural Development (C&RD) Block is not up to the mark.

The Project Director, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), SS Syiemlieh has informed that implementation of the scheme in West Jaintia Hills is very weak and needed immediate improvement for the benefit of the people.

“This is your scheme and it is your responsibility to successfully implement it properly,” Syiemlieh said at the first phase of a public hearing programme on social audit on the implementation of MGNREGS held at Bharat Nirman Rajeev Gandhi Seva Kendra (Hall), C&RD Block Office, Thadlaskein on Tuesday.

The Block Development Officer, AM Lyngdoh informed that social audit and public hearing is one of the most important parts of the MGNREGA for transparent and accountable implementation of the MGNREGS.

The Thadlaskein Block Development Officer, Assistant Project Officers, Gram Sevaks, Volunteers and also the District Project Director, DRDA attended the public hearing besides chairmen and secretaries of the Village Employment Councils and job card holders.

The public hearing revealed poor maintenance of records like cashbooks, ledger books besides other records. Only few VECs have maintained proper records in the implementation of the scheme.

Non-maintenance of proper records might lead to misappropriation of funds under MGNREGA.

According to the BDO, frequent change of VECs secretaries is one of the reason for improper maintenance of records and poor implementation of the scheme under MGNREGA.

“The term of the VEC Secretary should be at least 3 years for better implementation of the scheme,” the BDO suggested.

Late payments and non-received of funds even after implementation of any activities taken up were some of the issues raised by job card holders and VECs members at the public hearing.

According to the BDO, a sanction of Rs 2.74 crore was allotted to Thadlaskein Block in which 5316 houses demanded for job and were provided in the current financial year 2012-13. “All funds have been exhausted and now we are waiting for new sanctions,” the BDO said.

The VECs blamed post offices for the late payment.

“Post Office officials have informed us that the late payment is due the lack of man power,” a VEC member informed.

The District Project Director and the BDO assured to take up the matter and requested the VECs to submit a written complaint in this regard.

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