Lapses in job scheme come to light

Collector orders officials to recover the misused amount

Collector B. Ramanjaneyulu has ordered Mandal Development Officers (MDOs) and tehsildars to recover nearly Rs. 4.80 crores (out of total Rs. 6 crores) misappropriated under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in 2007-08 and 2008-09 by October 2 by invoking the Revenue Recovery Act (RRA).

The MDOs and the tehsildars could get the works audited on their own by holding village-level meetings before the social audit teams make their inspections. By doing so, the mandal officers could ensure that any fraud committed in the scheme is exposed in advance.

Addressing a meeting on MGNREGS with MDOs and tehsildars on Wednesday, Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said social audit of works done in the last two years (2007-08 and 2008-09) showed that a sum of nearly Rs. 6 crores was misappropriated by some government officers/staff including employees of Department of Posts, outsourced workers and middlemen.

A sum of Rs. 1.2 crore was till now recovered by initiating proceedings under the RRA. The balance, most of which pertains to material works, was yet to be reclaimed but the MDOs and the tehsildars appeared to be reluctant to take stringent action against those guilty of misappropriation.

They could not escape from their duties in spite of local compulsions. Those who compromised their official positions would not be spared. Others who stuck to the rule book could be assured of full support, he said.

Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said it was true there were irregularities in the last couple of years but protests in some mandals against the alleged inaction by him and other officers responsible for MGNREGS, were politically motivated.

In response to an MDO's complaint that the social audit teams were deviating from established procedures and they were left with a few options except to toe their line due to certain pulls and pressures, Mr. Ramanjaneyulu said he would take their grievances to the notice of higher authorities and suggested them not to keep quite when their own credibility or of the district administration was questioned in the cases which had no wrongdoing.

  • RRA to be invoked for recovery of the amount
  • Officials warned against laxity

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