New Delhi [India], August 12 (ANI): The Union ministry of rural development has asked the TRS government in Telangana to get a thorough probe conducted and take criminal action against those responsible for a litany of violations in the implementation of the MGNREGS employment scheme in the state.
The ministry wrote a letter to the state government after 15 central teams found a series of gross violations in the implementation of the scheme. The ministry also asked the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana government to ensure a refund and recovery of the "irregularly" spent amount.
"A Central team of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India was deputed to conduct a monitoring visit in connection with the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS in the State of Telangana from 9th June to 12th June 2022. The team found several issues with the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi NREGS in the State of Telangana," the ministry said in a letter dated August 12.
An inspection by a central team highlighted issues such as undertaking non-permissible work (construction of food grain drying platform or staggered trenches in the forest areas), irregularities in estimation, approval and non-compliance of guidelines.
Similar irregularities relating to work of staggering trenches, splitting of works to avoid approval of the superior technical authority and other procedural violations of guidelines such as those relating to community information boards, job cards, maintenance of proper documentation in the gram panchayats, the letter said.
In view of the serious lapses, the ministry deployed teams to conduct a thorough scrutiny of the implementation of the scheme in Telangana. All the 15 teams found deficiencies similar to those observed by the earlier central team, read the letter.
"Detailed reports were then shared with the Telangana government. The reports reveal serious irregularities and the manner in which NREGS is being administered as against that required by the act, rules, guidelines and circulars issued in this regard by the Central government and indeed the State government themselves," the letter further read.
The letter mentions that the way in which NREGS is being implemented in Telangana, requires action, including a "refund of the irregularly spent amount", criminal and administrative action against the defaulters as also recoveries, but also a thorough overhaul of the administrative machinery and inculcation of a culture of transparency, accountability and making the best use of public funds.
"Central government views this matter with extreme concern and expects a detailed Action Taken Report (ATR) against all issues highlighted by the Teams/Ministry and a thorough enquiry by the State Government at appropriate warranted/directed. Central government has asked to submit a comprehensive ATR by the State Government of Telangana latest by 11.09.2022," the letter mentioned. (ANI)