The government was carrying out a “planned euthanasia” of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) by “inordinately delaying” the funding of social audits and denying the funds to the States for lack of audits, Congress general secretary (Communication) Jairam Ramesh said, reacting to a news story in The Hindu.
The social audit units flag the cases of misappropriation of funds and the onus is on the State governments to make the recoveries. In the past three financial years, the recovery has varied from 13.8% to 20.8%. To maintain autonomy from the State governments, the Act provides that the Centre will directly fund them.
“Of late this funding has been getting inordinately delayed. As a result, social audits don’t get done on time, and the social audit process gets compromised, which is then used as an excuse by the Modi government to deny funds to the states, that in turn affects wage payments and so on. This is nothing but a planned euthanasia of MGNREGA — by trapping the scheme in a chakravyuh,” Mr. Ramesh said in a post on X.