Centre stops NREGA funding to Budgam district after spotting irregularities

Matter Handed Over To State Vigilance Organisation For Further Probe: Director RDD

UMER MAQBOOL

Srinagar, Jan 21: In a major embarrassment to the State Government, the Union Ministry of Rural Development has withheld the release of funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to central Kashmir’s Budgam district after detecting “large-scale irregularities” in implementation of the centrally-sponsored scheme. The Government of India’s move comes at a time when the state government is making tall claims on ensuring ‘transparency and accountability’ while executing development works in rural areas. 
 Authoritative sources told Greater Kashmir that the Government of India has taken strong note of the irregularities committed under MGNREGS and Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) schemes in Budgam district on the basis of a report submitted by a monitoring agency, appointed by the Union Rural Development Ministry to scrutinize the program.
 According to them, the Centre for Logical, Research and Development Studies had submitted the detailed report to the Central Ministry after undertaking on spot verification of several works executed by the State Rural Development Department in the district. “The monitoring team while conducting verification of several works in Chadoora and Khag blocks in Budgam district between August 31 to September 9 last year found large scale wrongdoings in implementation of these programs,” they said, adding the team concluded that the allegations of use of machinery in NREGA works and irregularities in distribution of IAY are true.
 Following the report, the Centre while seeking response from the State over irregularities mentioned by the monitoring agency put the release of second installment of funds under MGNERGA on hold for the district. “The State Government has replied to the queries / clarifications sought by the Centre over the matter,” sources added but the Centre has not released a single penny till date.
 Pertinently, more than Rs 11 crore were released as first installment for NREGA works in nine blocks of the district.
 When contacted, Director Rural Development Department Mir Altaf Ahmad confirmed that funding of MGNREGA in Budgam district has been stopped by the Centre. “We have replied to the queries posed by the Centre but they are yet to release the funds,” said Altaf.
  He said they have taken action over the irregularities pointed out by the monitoring agency and have also handed over the matter to State Vigilance Organization for  further probe.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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