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MGNREGS registration needs to be substantially improved in Bihar: CAG report

CAG report has observed that registration of all potential job seekers, especially landless casual labourers, under MGNREGS needs to be substantially improved in Bihar. Image used for representation purpose.   | Photo Credit: DEEPAK KR

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India report for the year ending March 31, 2019, has observed that registration of all potential job seekers, especially landless casual labourers, under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) needs to be substantially improved in Bihar. The report also says that the Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission (BMVM) had ineffective financial management.

“Though Bihar has the highest number of landless casual labourers in the country at 88.61 lakh and 60.88 lakh (69%) were surveyed, only 3.34% (3,007 out of 90,161 of willing landless households) were issued job cards. In the test-checked districts, less than one per cent job-seekers (146 out of 22,678 willing landless households) were issued job cards and survey work was discontinued. Specific plans, as required, for providing employment opportunity to the vulnerable group of households were not prepared,” said the CAG report, which was tabled in the Bihar State Assembly on July 29.

The report further observed that only 9%-14% of the registered disabled persons, and 5%-9% of senior citizens (60 years and above), were provided employment under the scheme during the 2014-19 period in the State. “During the lean period (July to November), against the work demanded by 26%-36%, only 2%-9% of households were provided employment during 2014-19. Besides, only 14% of total works taken up were completed in respect of works for the creation of durable assets, while 65% work remained incomplete for one to five years during 2014-19 and 61% did not even start,” said the report, which focused on the implementation of MNREGS in the State.

It underlines a very low achievement against the target of the focus area during 2016-2018, and poor convergence of MGNREGS work with the schemes of other departments such as Forests, Agriculture, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, etc. “Overall, households that availed 100 days employment ranged between less than 1% and 3% of the demand in the state and only 14% works taken up during 2014-19 were completed,” the report added.

According to the report, during the 2014-19 period, the State utilised schemes funds to the tune of ₹10,960.52 crore (98%) out of available funds of ₹11,181.72 crore. Wage employment was provided to 99.44 lakh households. On average, households earned wages amounting to ₹33,642 in the State during the period, which was lower than the national average of ₹37,639. “Bihar was ranked 21st in the country in terms of average wage generation,” it stated.

The report further added that the Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission (BMVM) had “ineffective financial management as evident from unrealistic budget allocation, non-submission of UCs (Utilization Certificates), non-reconciliation of cash and operation of several bank accounts was fraught with the risk of misutilisation and misappropriation of money”. “BMVM failed to get payment details of back-end subsidy of ₹1.49 crore from the banks and reflected the same as balance against respective banks in the cashbook. Even after lapse of more than five years of disbursement of the funds, BMVM was yet to receive utilization of ₹1.49 crore from banks,” stated the report.

“During 2017-19, out of total target of 11,000 candidates fixed by SC and ST Welfare Department, only 340 candidates (3.09 %) were enrolled out of which 102 trainees could complete their training after an expenditure of ₹82.29 lakh (5.6%). Further, only 65 trainees could get placement,” it said.

The report also said the State Compensatory Afforestation Funds Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) made “inadequate provision of funds in Annual Plan for Compensatory Afforestation Schemes during 2014-18 as against the available funds for the purpose resulting in less availability of funds for afforestation”. “Due to non-execution of the afforestation schemes, the backlog of 54 afforestation schemes since 2013-14, created liability of ₹14.54 crore on state CAMPA”, the report said.


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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 5:07:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mgnregs-registration-needs-to-be-substantially-improved-in-bihar-cag-report/article35634002.ece

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