The United Progressive Alliance government’s job guarantee programme under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) may be pro-poor but will work only if state governments implement it well, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here Thursday.
“In Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam and many other states it is implemented well and there are others where it’s not. Therefore there is no chance of corruption eroding the scheme if the state government intends to implement it well,” Mr. Gandhi, who is here on a two-day visit, said at a press conference.
“The central government designs programmes and sends money and can put pressure on the state governments up to a certain extent. If the state government is not interested then we can’t do much,” he said.
On the question of price rise, Gandhi said it was the state government’s responsibility.
Reiterating that the government’s aim had always been to help the poor, Gandhi said: “In all the states where the Congress is in power, the focus is on the poor. Whether it’s the mid-day meal scheme in schools, the Right to Information Act, NREGA or the universal ID programme, our focus is on the common man.”