Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is the flagship rural employment program of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Congress Government. It is also the greatest mechanism created in India to suck greatest amounts of money since British created their discriminatory laws. It involves a $33 billion investment every year! And most of it is siphoned off. The program is CREATED for that. Now Bloomberg has done some research of its own and come out with some shocking reporting.
“It’s an insult to a man who lived a life of dignity,” Rajendar Singh said, sitting next to the parched canal his father supposedly excavated in their village, Bishanpur, about six hours’ drive northwest of Kolkata. “He’s been wronged.”
District administrators and village heads have used tactics such as ghost workers, fake projects and over-billing to embezzle about $10 billion from the world’s largest workfare initiative, an investigation by Bloomberg News shows. The fraud in the seven-year-old program underscores the challenge of reducing poverty in India as graft permeates everything from food aid for children to the distribution of public grain stockpiles and debt relief for struggling farmers.
The people at the lowest level are so driven and spoiled by the way they get a chance to siphon off money that they don’t give a rat’s ass as to what the MPs try to do, at least some of them.
At least 60 percent of the expenditure in Jharkhand under the act has been pilfered, according to Nishikant Dubey, the member of parliament in New Delhi for Godda, one of the state’s districts. That amounts to more than $115 million in the fiscal year ending March 2013 alone, based on government data.
“It’s a tragedy, it’s happening everywhere,” Dubey, a member of the main federal opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, said in an interview in his office in New Delhi. “I keep telling my officials that this is money for the poor so please don’t steal from it, but they don’t listen.”
Dubey recounted how his home phone rang at 3 a.m. the day after an anti-graft panel he heads scrapped $1.3 million of rural works projects in Godda in 2009, on suspicion of fraud. The voice at the other end offered a bribe of $730,000 to help reverse the decision, he said.
Here is another article from Rediff which talks of how Rs 5900 crores were siphoned off from MNREGA. That is 73% of the funds allotted for the program!
Bihar Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra on Monday ordered an inquiry into the allegations that nearly 73 per cent of the funds allotted for implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi [ Images ] National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in 38 districts of Bihar, between 2006 and 2012, have been embezzled by authorities
“The department will inquire into the corruption and will conduct physical verification of all facts related to the scheme,” Mishra said.
The Bihar government spent a total amount of Rs 8,189 crore during six years on NREGA, according to an audit conducted by the Delhi-based Centre for Environment and Food Security.
According to the CEFS report, Rs 5,977 crore of the allotted funds have been misappropriated by implementing authorities.
CEFS Director Parshuram Rai said the performance audit was conducted through a sample survey in 100 impoverished Dalit villages spread over ten districts in Bihar.
Related articles from External Sources
Get Drishtikone's Profound Fix
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.