After Central rap, Odisha cuts babus’ expenses under MGNREGS

Reported by Simanchal Pattanaik
Phulbani, Jan 21:

Taking note of unauthorised expenditure being made under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNERGS), the Centre has asked the Odisha government to stop such unethical practices with immediate effect.

Photo Courtesy: odishatime.com
Photo Courtesy: odishatime.com

Acting on the Central directive, commission-cum-secretary, state Panchayati Raj, Deoranjan Singh has informed district collectors, project directors and BDOs in this regard in a letter on January 17.

The letter said that henceforth, no government officers and employees would be entitled to get vehicle allowance, fixed travel allowance, fuel allowance, payment towards hired vehicles and mobile voucher recharge under MGNREGS.

As per rules, MGNREGS funds can be spent towards remuneration, salary, office stationery, social audit, Palli Sabha, Gram Sabha, Rojgar Divas, advertisement, tender, public hearing, information, education and communication (IEC) and allowances for meetings convened by the ombudsman.

“The maximum limits of such expenditure should not be more than five percent of the total cost of the project. If the expenditure exceeds the limits, the collector and the project director, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) of the concerned district would be held responsible,” the letter pointed out.

Though the Centre, in its order, has made it clear that the payment of wages to the beneficiaries is the prime objective of the scheme, it was found that some districts had exceeded the expenditure limit.

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