Telangana is among the top recipients of Central funds for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), getting more than bigger States like Karnataka, Maharashtra and Bihar, but finds itself at the bottom in the completion of works at the national level. Senior officers in the Commissionerate of rural employment emphasised that the completed works identified by the Ministry of Rural Development was not the right parameter to judge a State’s performance in the implementation of the programme because a lot of works in Telangana, particularly plantation as part of Haritha Haram, were ongoing which required payments to be made at regular intervals. What was important was the number of man days created and wage disbursal, both of which were Telangana’s strong points. With 55 lakh job cards, the State created 11.5 crore man days so far this year against 10.5 crore last year and spent Rs 1,950 crore, including Rs.1,450 crore on wages.
An official said Telangana bagged awards for social inclusion, transparency and accountability in implementation of the programme at Mahatma Gandhi NREGA mela at New Delhi on February 2. The government had already provided the maximum of 100 wage days for three lakh people this year and was giving work for 150 days in 231 drought mandals with the permission of the Centre. Medak, Nizamabad, Adilabad and Nalgonda topped in works. Women constituted 57 per cent of the work force.
The State government awarded works for water conservation, wasteland development, plantation and raising nurseries, construction of roads, rural sanitation and creation of individual assets. About Rs 400 crore was spent on land development alone. The construction of soak pits was taken up in a campaign mode, he added.
According to a report of the Ministry, Telangana was so far given this year Rs 1,804 crore under the programme while the releases last year were Rs 1,919 crore. The number of works completed this year was only 5,301 while it was 19,963 last year. States like Karnataka and Maharashtra which got lesser funds completed 2.21 lakh and 70,000 works respectively.