"The names of these celebrities were registered during the training process for the officials connected with the implementation of this scheme."

The Goa government on Sunday denied allegations of fraud in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme in the State.

Information obtained by local NGO Goa Parivartan Manch under the Right to Information Act had revealed that names of Bollywood celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Paresh Rawal, and cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Ricky Ponting figured in the list of MGNREGA beneficiaries in the State.

However, the State’s Rural Development Agency — the nodal agency for implementation of this Central scheme — said there were no payments to bogus beneficiaries.

“The names of these celebrities were registered during the training process for the officials connected with the implementation of this scheme, and subsequently these names were dropped,” the RDA said in a release here.

No job cards were issued in the name of any such celebrity and hence the issue of payment to a bogus worker did not arise, it said. These names, it said, were registered in 2008 during training on how to fill the job cards.