Mamata Govt forms task force to ensure irregularity-free implementation of MGNREGA schemes

Kolkata, Feb 21 (IANS) Amid controversies over irregularities in the implementation of the 100-day job scheme under MGNREGA, the West Bengal Government on Wednesday announced the formation of an eight-member task force to oversee the disbursement of funds.

The task force has been formed in the backdrop of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s announcement of completing the disbursement of funds under the 100-day job scheme to around 30 lakh beneficiaries between February 26 and March 1.

The eight-member task force will be headed by Secretary, Panchayat Affairs and Rural Development Department, Dr P Ulaganathan.

Government sources said that the task force will oversee the disbursements to ensure that the funds go to genuine beneficiaries.

The task force will also ensure that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) formulated by the state government for disbursement of dues to beneficiaries, are followed.

Under the new SOPs, publication of details of beneficiaries and the display of these lists at prominent places in state government offices is mandatory.

To begin with, the lists will be displayed at the offices of the village panchayats in their respective districts in the state.

The task force will also ensure that complaints regarding any irregularities or omissions are promptly and efficiently addressed by the implementing authorities.

Political observers say that such precautions are being taken in view of the accusations of massive irregularities in disbursal of MGNREGA funds through the creation of lakhs of fake job cards.

The 100-day job scheme had been a point of contention between the Centre and the West Bengal Government for quite some time.

While the ruling Trinamool Congress has accused the Union government of deliberately holding back payments of central funds for this scheme due to political vendetta, the Centre and the BJP have accused the Mamata Government of massive irregularities in implementation of the scheme through creation of fake job cards and non-submission of utilisation certificates.

Probably, the fresh SOPs have been announced to bring transparency into the payment system so that there are no further controversies in the matter, say political observers.



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