State Govt. should give a serious thought on the issue: Jairam
The Union Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh, has stressed upon the need of more women participating in the job works under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in Uttar Pradesh. He said as compared to participation of women in other States, the ratio of their participation in Uttar Pradesh was woefully low, a mere 20 per cent. Mr. Ramesh said the ratio in Kerala was 88 per cent, Tamil Nadu 64 per cent, Rajasthan 63 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 46 per cent and Bihar 32 per cent.
The Rural Development Minister said he has asked the State officials that by March 2013 it should be ensured that one-third of the work force in the MNGREGA programmes are women. He said in Bundelkhand and Sonbhadra one-third women participated in the rural job schemes but overall the ratio in the State was only 20 per cent.
Mr. Ramesh said the State Government should give a serious thought to the low participation of women in the rural job scheme and take measures to increase their participation.
On a days visit to Lucknow in connection with a meeting of MGNREGA , Mr. Ramesh told journalists at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters that the rural job scheme was a constructive step towards women empowerment but it is “not visible in U.P”. Mr. Ramesh met U.P. Minister of State for Rural Development Arvind Singh “Gope”. The Union Minister said that he had asked the Minister that separate accounts for women should be opened in the banks or post office. Mr. Ramesh added that he will write a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in this regard.
On no action being taken by the State Government on his demand for a CBI inquiry into the irregularities in the implementation in MGNREGA in seven districts , Mr. Ramesh said he will request the Chief Minister for a probe and that the alleged guilty officials are not shielded.
To ensure transparency in the rural job works and the disbursement of money under MGNREGA, an audit is being conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the report would be submitted by March 2013, Mr. Ramesh said. He added that the rural job scheme accounts would be certified by a chartered account at each gram panchayat level.