Noting several discrepancies in the implementation of NREGA in Kerala, a national level monitor of the programme has said 60 per cent of the districts in the State have an “unfair and not open” process for application, allocation and demand of jobs under the Act.
In its report to the Rural Development Ministry, the NLM has also noted that in 60 per cent of the districts the choice of works under the Act have been “unsatisfactory or irrelevant” and its technical supervision absent.
As per the Act, social audit has to be conducted by gram sabhas at least once in six months and its announcement be made 30 days in advance. However, the NLM observed that no social audit was conducted in 60 per cent of the districts.
There are about 350 national level monitors, empanelled by the ministry, to keep an eye on the implementation of the Act. They are also empowered to enquire into specific complaints.
In its report to the ministry, the NLM also noted that NREGA records were not maintained properly in many districts of Kerala in contravention to the provisions of the Act.
“40 per cent of records are not maintained or updated periodically. In other places while records are maintained, 40 per cent of the muster rolls are not (maintained) and 20 per cent of the districts had blank complaint registers,” it noted.
As per operational guidelines for the implementation of NREGA, perspective plans have to be developed in each district so that causal factors of poverty could be assessed and possible interventions made.
Its aim is also to identify the types of NREGS works that should be encouraged in the districts, and the potential linkages between these works and long-term employment generation.
However, the NLM in its report has noted that only 40 per cent of the districts in the State have complete and detailed perspective plans.
It also observed that functioning of vigilance and monitoring cells were not satisfactory in many districts. Only 60 per cent of the districts have proper transparency and accountability mechanism.
The NLM also found that inadequate staff were deployed for the implementation of the Act in the State.