State Government is committed to its fool-proof implementation, he says
Rural Development Minister Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao said due credit for enactment of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) goes to the Left parties, which extended full cooperation to UPA-I Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in bringing the legislation.
Like political reservations that were facilitated by the Poona Pact of 1932, wage employment is a legitimate right of the poor people and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) has served its purpose but it is not without pitfalls.
The Government is making a constant review of the scheme implementation and taking remedial action whenever irregularities surfaced, he asserted. Speaking at a seminar on `Employment guarantee- Obstacles and solutions’ organized as part of the Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Karmika Sangham (APVKS)’s 26th Annual Conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Vara Prasada Rao said the NREGS improved living standards of the poor people but there is a lot more to be accomplished in implementing it. The NREGS is in its seventh year of inception and it has many positive results but critics are obviously not appreciative of the progress achieved. The scheme generated direct and indirect benefits to ten million poor people in Andhra Pradesh amounting to nearly Rs 5,300 crore in 2012-13. It is poised to cross Rs 6,000 crore this year.
Procedural issues are being sorted out and action taken against the Government officials and staff concerned for dereliction of duty. Complaints of wrong calculation of wages and faulty measurement of work done are particularly looked into.
The Minister said there was pressure from some detractors within the Government and outside who wanted him to go slow in the implementation of NREGS in their own vested interest. However, the Government is firmly committed to doing its bit for welfare of the poor masses.
The NREGS has curbed migration of poor people (caused by unemployment) to a considerable extent and created valuable public assets that changed the rural landscape. However, there are some forces trying to wean poor people away from the scheme with ulterior motives.
Principal Secretary of Rural Development R. Subrahmanyam, MLC K.S. Lakshman Rao, APVKS President P. Murali Krishna and General Secretary B. Venkat, DWMA Project Director Anil Kumar, CPI (M) Central Committee member Paturi Ramaiah and others spoke.