A total of 3,852 persons drawn from 428 panchayats in the district have been chosen members of a social audit committee that would monitor works being implemented under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

Nine persons have been chosen from each panchayat, among whom three will be alternate members. Following instructions from the Central Government, the State Government constituted the committees and was organising a training programme through the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), official sources told The Hindu here on Friday.

The committees would monitor and audit the works taken up under the MNREGS, work registers and accounts at the village level. The first phase of training was held on Saturday for the community resource persons at the block level.

They, in turn, would train the social audit committee members from April 15 to 24 at their respective village panchayats.

The members who completed the training would begin to conduct social audits of the rural job scheme during the gram sabha meeting to be held on May 1.

Guidelines have been provided for three categories from which the nine members should be drawn equally: in the first category, two of the committee members and one reserve member who should have been MNREGS worker and office-bearer of the panchayat-level federations or animators and representatives of self-help groups.

The second category comprises MNREGS workers who have studied Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) or more so that they could verify the records and documents regarding the implementation of job scheme.

The third category comprises MNREGS workers who have put in over 50 days of work. The guidelines also state that persons from the underprivileged and marginalised sections of society get adequate representation in the social audit committees. Hence, if no eligible persons from the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes were found in the three categories, the 50 days criteria in the third category could be reduced, officials said.

The MNREGS is being implemented in Tamil Nadu since April 2008. Works under this Central Government scheme were under way in 428 of the total 431 panchayats in Madurai district, sources said.

Around 3.5 lakh individuals from 2.46 lakh households have registered for the scheme in the district. A total of 1,683 works worth Rs. 110 crore have been given administrative sanction so far. While 683 projects have been completed so far, 904 are presently under way. Since the scheme implementation began in the district, 1.18 crore mandays of work have been generated with 80 lakh mandays generated in 2009-10.

Keywords: Social Audit

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