Staff Correspondent

Thrust on national rural employment guarantee scheme

Gram panchayats to lose welfare schemes if not implemented in reasonable time The Government can transfer the scheme to the taluk panchayat concerned Panchayats empowered to provide employment to households

DAVANGERE: N. Sivasailam, Principal Secretary to Government, Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, has called upon gram panchayat members to assert their rights and understand all schemes and programmes so that officials do not misguide them.

Mr. Shivashilam was inaugurating a workshop for gram panchayat members on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme here on Saturday. He told the participants to be aware of the Government-sponsored schemes to ensure their proper implementation.

The panchayat members will have a key role to play in executing programmes because funds will go directly to gram panchayats, he said. Explaining the employment guarantee scheme, he said the gram panchayats will be given a free hand to recommend work. They can provide jobs to many households under the programme and create assets. The Government has the right to transfer the scheme to the taluk panchayat if a gram panchayat does not implement it in a reasonable time.

Mr. Sivasailam said a gram panchayat will be first warned and given three months to implement the scheme. If it fails to comply with the deadline, it will be given one more month before shifting the scheme to taluk panchayat.

The scheme will provide 100 days guaranteed employment in rural areas in every financial year to every household whose members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. He urged the gram panchayats to create awareness among people and register the names of those who wish to take advantage of the programme. He urged the gram panchayats to give all those who register their names, a job card and open their accounts in a bank in the respective villages. Their wages should be credited in the bank account.

The scheme envisages free medical treatment to workers if they are injured on duty. An ex-gratia of Rs. 25,000 will be given to those who die or become permanently disabled by accident in the while working under the scheme.