An audit report of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has slammed the State government for non-performance and poor maintenance of records in implementing the scheme from 2007 to 2012.
The performance audit report, prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) and tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, revealed “delays ranging from four to six years in framing rules.’’ “There were significant variations between the estimated demand and actual employment generation. The projected costs of works and expenditure were very high compared to actual ones in all grama panchayats,” the report said. Records show that two of the 14 districts had come under the MGNREGS in the first phase from February 2006. Subsequently, two districts from April 2007 and the remaining 10 from April 2008 came under its ambit. A sum of Rs.2,390.88 crore had been released to the State from 2007-12.
Regarding works and assets creation, the report said the material component of the works was less than 2.5 per cent of the total cost. Consequently, the extent of utility of the assets created after an “expenditure of Rs.299.48 crore became doubtful.” The State also abandoned 87,280 works worth Rs.349.59 crore from 2007-12.
The works undertaken on private land mainly to uproot plants worth Rs.32.37 lakh at one grama panchayat were classified under the prioritised work of water conservation and water harvesting.
On monitoring and evaluation, the report said the social audit meeting should have been chaired by a person outside the panchayat and the secretary should be the secretary of the social audit forum. However, it was found that at 34 grama panchayats, the chairperson and the secretary were from within the grama panchayat.
It also said there was a shortfall in conducting physical verification of the works at the block, district and State levels against the prescribed target of 100 per cent, 10 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
The report said door-to-door survey to identify persons willing to register under the MGNREGS was not conducted in 39 grama panchayats and tampering with muster rolls was noticed in all grama panchayats in Thiruvananthapuram.
Delay in wage payment from 23 to 138 days was reported in all grama panchayats. Besides, payment of Rs.12.86 lakh was made without measuring the works and wage slips were not generated in 37 of the 39 grama panchayats. Details of the wages paid were not recorded on the job card at most of the grama panchayats, the report pointed out.