State catches up in using job scheme funds

Special Correspondent

Karnataka utilised Rs. 1,950 crore out of Rs. 2,013 crore

All the States have adhered to the guidelines on utilising 60 per cent of the funds

Rajasthan has utilised the highest sum in the job scheme followed by Uttar Pradesh

GULBARGA: Karnataka topped in utilising the funds available under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) this financial year. As per the latest figures available, the State had utilised Rs. 1,950.94 crore out of Rs. 2,013.50 crore available, including the Opening Balance.

Official sources told The Hindu here that the appreciable performance of Karnataka was in contrast to the utilisation of only 33.77 per cent of the available funds under the MGNREGS in the country. As against Rs. 93,277.12 crore available under the MGNREGS, which included the opening balance for the current year, the States had utilised only Rs. 31,496.95 crores.

Sources, however, said in the total utilisation of the funds under the MGREGS, Karnataka lagged behind States like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh this year.

Sources said that Rajasthan continued to occupy the top position in the State in the utilisation of the funds, in terms of the amount, under the MGREGS during the current financial year. Rajasthan had so far utilised Rs. 5,355.40 crore and maintained a high percentage of 70.13 wage component in the expenditure and 25.48 per cent on the material component.

As per the norms of the Centre, 60 per cent should be used for wage component and remaining 40 per cent on the material component and administrative expenditure.

Uttar Pradesh came a close second in the utilisation of funds under the scheme this financial year by spending Rs. 5,124.87 crore and Andhra Pradesh occupied the third position by utilising Rs. 3,482.91 crore.

Madhya Pradesh was in the fourth place utilising Rs. 3,433.26 crore and Karnataka, improving its performance stood at the fifth place utilising Rs. 1,950.84 crore so far.

One of the redeeming features of the progress of the MGREGS in the country was that all the States had adhered to the government guidelines in utilising minimum of 60 per cent of the funds on the wages.

Puducherry topped the country in utilising 96.1 per cent of the funds on the wages and not a single rupee being used on materials and 3.9 per cent on administrative expenditure.

Andhra Pradesh had utilised an appreciable 84.07 per cent on the wages and spent only 10.76 per cent of the funds on the materials. Kerala was another State which had utilised 88.69 per cent on the wages and 4.53 per cent on the materials.