Consultation with representatives of state level political parties on National Rural Employment Guarantee Act

Union Rural Development & Panchayti Raj Minister Dr. C.P. Joshi has emphasized the need for increased transparency and pubic accountability in effective implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). He was addressing a meeting of representatives of state level political parties on how to evolve an effective mechanism for inclusive growth with the help of NREGA.

In his opening remarks, Dr Joshi said the Government is committed to increase the scope of NREGA through convergence with other schemes and its implementation through Panchayats. In order to make the program more effective, responsive and transparent measures such as Social Auditing by involving NGOs, district-level Ombudsman to curb misappropriation and use of Bio-metric cards for wage payment are being initiated. The Minister said that the emphasis would be on the creation of durable assets.

The State Level Political Parties who took part in the Consultations were Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), The Telugu Desam (TDP), Shiv Sena (SS), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha {JVM}(Prajatantrik), All India Democratic Morcha (AIDF) and the Muslim League(ML). The RLD leader Shri Ajit Singh called upon the Government to enhance the Central Share of NREGA wage payment from Rs. 100 a day to Rs. 150- Rs.175 per day in view of lack of response from the needy and the poor. Shri Bharat Kumar Raut from Shiv Sena demanded area specific norms for Small and Marginal Farmers. He said that while the proposed group of 100 eminent persons should monitor NREGA at the Centre similar groups are needed at state levels. Mr. Ranjit Singh Bramhapura of Shiromani Akali Dal underlined the need to have permanent staff for NREGA works. Shri Nama Nageshwara Rao from Telugu Desam asked for a mechanism that could ensure that there is no diversion of funds earmarked for NREGA in the states. Mohammad Bashir of Muslim League said that focus should be on generating durable assets through NREGA works. Dr. Bahrul Islam from All India Democratic Front (Assam) emphasized the need to increase awareness along with active involvement of Ombudsman and said that the official’s performance should be linked with implementation of NREGA. Shri Babu Lal Marandi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) asked for an alternate mechanism in the form of Village Committees for NREGA wage payments since the Bank/Post Offices Branches in Jharkhand were far away from villages.

The Minister for Rural Development, Dr. CP Joshi while expressing gratitude for the presence of State Level Party Representatives promised to consider the observations made during the consultations and said efforts will be made to root out corruption from NREGA at all levels. Besides Dr. Joshi, the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Pradeep Jain “Aditya” , Secretary Rural Development Dr. Rita Sharma and other Senior Officers from the Ministry also attended the deliberations.

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AKT/ST/SAK
(Release ID :53027)