New Delhi. The Ministry of Rural Development has written to all the states reminding them to submit an action taken report showing compliance with the indicators set by the ministry for securing funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA). Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh said, “The compliance of the indicators brought to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of MGNREGA funds will be assessed in October.” This move of the ministry is likely to lead to a tussle between the Center and the states as many are still not adhering to the prescribed indicators.

In July, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had accused the Center of withholding MGNREGA funds. The Center had said at that time that the states needed to follow the norms for releasing the funds. The Union Minister said, ‘I have written to the states that we have no shortage of funds, but they need to ensure transparency and also that there should be no financial irregularities. We will see the action taken report by the states in October and assess the compliance.

ground level work
The letter dated August 5, 2022, sent by the ministry to the states and union territories, lists five indicators to ensure transparency and accountability on the use of funds. However, despite reminders, many states have not acted on the instructions and it is likely that the ministry will withdraw funds from the states in case of non-compliance.

WhatsApp groups are one of the five indicators that measure the effective work done at the ground level. It is for sharing real-time presence of public representatives like MPs, MLAs, Sarpanch and others and should be created by Panchayat Secretary at Panchayat level. This can help the public representatives to keep an eye on the activities.

Tags: Giriraj Singh, MNREGA

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