Rs. 4.7 cr. utilised last fiscal compared to Rs. 9 cr. in 2010-11

In what could be read as an MLA report card in a way, the performance of a large number of the State’s Assembly constituencies, gauged under the national rural job guarantee schemes, progressively fell on many fronts during 2009-12.

According to data pertaining to projects taken up under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) for 156 constituencies, in the last fiscal, the respective MLAs on an average spent less money, paid lower wages, especially in Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes’ constituencies, and covered fewer households with the mandated 100 days of work compared to 2010 and 2011.

Bangalore-based IndiaGoverns Research Institute has collated available MNREGA data for 156 Assembly constituencies over three years from 2009. The former Supreme Court Chief Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah released the report on MLA constituency progress under MNREGA at a news conference on Tuesday.

IndiaGoverns Executive Director Veena Ramanna said the selected 156 areas had 70 per cent rural population. (They form nearly 70 per cent of Karnataka’s 224 constituencies.) The data covers nearly 5,200 gram panchayats.

She said the aim of the exercise was to gauge the progress of each of these constituencies in ensuring secure livelihood for its poor since 2008, when the last Assembly elections were held.

Each constituency spent Rs. 4.7 crore on an average compared to Rs. 9 crore in 2010-11 and Rs. 13 crore in 2009-10. The percentage of families with total job cards was down to 30 per cent

Last year, under the schemes to ensure livelihood for unskilled rural poor, the Assembly constituencies on an average spent 48 per cent less than in the year before.

The average daily wage was Rs. 64 in 2011-12; (Rs. 80 in 2010-11; Rs. 70 in 2009-10.)

As many as 65 of the constituencies spent far more in 2011-12 on materials than prescribed: material costs should not exceed 40 per cent of the project costs.

Independents score

Against the State average of Rs. 4.74 crore, Independent MLA constituencies spent Rs. 36.07 crore each on an average; this is 34 per cent more money spent over the three years.

Pockets that elected governing BJP candidates spent Rs. 5.52 crore each or 17 per cent more than the State average.

Congress-held constituencies each spent Rs. 3.74 crore on an average. JD(S)-represented constituencies spent Rs. 4.41 crore each; they also spent consistently less than the State average over the three years.

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