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Corruption in MGNREGA: Therie
Published on 23 May. 2010 12:42 AM IST
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Former finance minister, K. Therie has said Nagaland received around Rs. 267 crores and Rs. 508 crores during 2008-09 and 2009-10 financial years respectively (which included state’s share of 10%) on material cost under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
In a statement, Therie underlined the objective of MGNREGA which envisages a minimum guarantee of 100-manday wages for every adult members in a rural household to do unskilled work. Therie alleged that some villagers were paid only Rs.200 while several had not received money.
He also claimed that the chief minister who also hold charge of the rural development portfolio had reportedly directed MLAs to contribute Rs.10 lakhs as matching grant for MGNREGA so as to receive Rs.100 lakhs in return.Therie said MLAs began to think that the amount belonged to them. He also alleged that to manipulate Rs.100 lakhs for MLAs, household job cards were not distributed, muster rolls forged and NREGS funds converted into contract works in the name of convergence in violation of the Act. He said that the program officers told villagers that convergence meant “VIP Quota.” He said that Man-days were then deducted and false material costs claimed.
In many villages, not even 50% of the Households’ Job Cards are actually working, Therie said . “Where has Rs.6,000 crores of the state’s budget gone? And yet they are shamelessly grabbing NREGS funds!” he alleged. Therie pointed that people did not elect MLAs to siphon off funds.
He also alleged that more than 70% of funds provided under MGNREGA were being misused. In this regard, he alleged that Minister of Power Doshehe returned a draft amounting to Rs. 92 lakhs under Atoizu Constituency because villagers had reported the matter in time. Therie also alleged that even some Congress members were offered cuts by RD parliamentary secretary to share blame of corruption.
He also accused the DAN government of playing politics of transfer and posting of officers for its whims which he said was “misuse of power.”
He called upon the like-minded leaders at all levels - village councils, VDBs, student unions, youth societies and the Church to rise up and fight corruption. (More on page-4)

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