Beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) are going to be involved in carrying out social audit of works of the MGNREGS from April 1. To ensure that there is no conflict of interest, they will be engaged in the audit of village panchayats other than theirs.

For each village panchayat, five persons will function as village-level resource persons and they should have qualified eighth standard. In total, there will 62,620 such resource persons. They will be given the scheme wages for five days in a year, apart from travelling and dearness allowances.

The findings of the village level resource persons will be placed at the meetings of gram sabhas for discussion.

The entire task of social audit for all 12,524 village panchayats will be conducted under the aegis of the Social Audit Society of Tamil Nadu (SASTA), an independent body, fashioned on the lines of the Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency (SSAAT) in Andhra Pradesh.

Rules for the SASTA have been framed and their notification is expected any time, say official sources.

Registered under the Societies Registration Act of Tamil Nadu, the SASTA will have only four government officers.

All other posts such as Social Audit Specialist, State Level Monitors, District Resource Persons and Block Resource Persons will be manned by outsiders, for which the recruitment will be done shortly.

Ombudsman

Till now, a group of six persons, hailing from a village panchayat, carries out social audit about the works of the scheme in its own village panchayat.

For the redress of grievances, 11 ombudsmen have been appointed for a cluster of 23 districts.

Vacancies have arisen for two ombudsmen in respect of three districts.

Seven more ombudsmen are to be appointed.

To receive complaints, a dedicated toll-free helpline (1299) has been in place in each district.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National