If the 100-day work project does not go as per the instructions of the Ministry of Rural Development, the funds will be allocated to the states as per the Center’s calculation from next month. In that case, any demands of the state will not be heeded, according to government sources.
Investigation of Central teams
Central teams were recently sent to some states due to allegations of irregularities in MGNREGA i.e., 100 days of work. They came back and reported about where and what kind of defects there are. In that context, one of the various directives of the Union Ministry of Rural Development was to open a WhatsApp group in each village panchayat to look after the work. It will include local MPs, MLAs, village heads, and government officers.
According to sources in the Ministry of Rural Development, the ‘Action Taken Report’ has been asked to know what action the state has taken based on the report of the central team. If the state report shows that there is still a shortfall, the money will be allocated based on the workers’ wage budget when the second tranche of funds is sanctioned in October. In the 100-day scheme, the amount demanded by the state based on the demand of work, will not be heeded.
According to government sources, the money is initially allocated based on how much will be spent on the wages of the workers. Later, if the states report that the demand for work is increasing, then additional money is sanctioned. The center has warned that if the state government does not comply with the rules, the demand for that additional money will not be given importance.
The Trinamool-BJP political battle has been going on for months and over 100 days of work. Trinamool MPs also courted Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh. On the other hand, BJP leaders went to Giriraj and complained about corruption in the project.
According to government sources, the Center had written to the states a month ago and instructed them to conduct a ‘social audit’ by an independent agency. Lokpal should be appointed in every district to hear complaints. Attendance records and photos of workers should be given in the government app. BDOs from District Magistrate visit ten workplaces every month. From there attendance has to be registered in the app. WhatsApp groups should be opened in each Gram Panchayat to look after the work. The states have been asked to report what has been done in these cases.
Center instructions for states
- One WhatsApp group should be opened in each village panchayat to take care of 100 days of work.
- The group will consist of local MPs, MLAs, village heads, and government officers.
- A ‘social audit’ (where social and ethical norms are checked) of the project should be carried out by an independent agency.
- Lokpal should be appointed in each district to hear complaints.
- 100 days of work attendance records and pictures of workers should be given in the government app.