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KDCC enlightens citizens on NREGS
Published on 5 Jul. 2010 12:13 AM IST
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Kohima District Congress Committee (KDCC) NREGS Cell has reminded the people that the aims and objectives of the NREGS Act was solely to enhance livelihood security of the rural households by providing 100 days guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every household so as to eradicate poverty and unemployment in the villages throughout the country.
KDCC NREGS Cell chairman, Sevotso Seyie and secretary, R. Paphino said the intended purpose of the unique scheme was to provide incredible earning opportunity to the villagers for their day to day needs. It said total transparency and accountability in NREGS implementation and greater participation of the general public in the villages was the hallmark of the program.
However, the KDCC said it was contradictory that in Nagaland, particularly in Kohima, the NREGS implementation was “just the reverse and virtually a farce program.”
It accused the DAN government and rural development department of having deliberately flouted and twisted the NREGS standing rules and provisions and exploited the gullible villagers (job card holders) to the fullest extend in Kohima district. The KDCC said such “corrupt” practices have become the order of the day, leaving the genuine job card holders high and dry.
The KDCC NREGS cell called upon the villagers not to remain docile and mute spectators but to come out and openly demand their wage money given by Central Government from the village authority and Government. It said Kohima district have received a handsome grant of Rs. 9400 lakhs under the NREGS program from 2007-2010.
The NREGS cell said if the allocated amount was judiciously utilized at the village level there would be a sea-change in the villages. However, the NREGS cell said the job card holders in Kohima district were yet to reap the fruit of NREGS fund though it was implemented for three years now.
The KDCC said though Rs. 10,000/- was meant for each job card holder in a year, the villagers have not even seen a scrap of it in these three years of its implementation. Instead of alleviating their living status, the condition of the villagers is as miserable as ever, the KDCC NREGS cell said in a statement.
Stating that it was a first phase of public awareness, the NREGS Cell highlighted few relevant NREGS Operational guidelines provisions relating to job card and wage payment as follows:-
(I). Eligibility for job card registration
1. One must be an Indian citizen and local resident.
2. One must be above 18 years of age.
3. One must be an unemployed (Govt. employees are not eligible)
4. One must be from a rural household/villager (urban household members are not allowed)
5. One must be willing to do unskilled manual work.
(II). Legal provisions relating to job card
(1) Section 5.3.1 – Village authority must issue job card to every registered household. This is a critical document, which also helps to ensure transparency and protect villagers against fraud.
(2) Section 5.3.2 – Job card should be issued within 14 days of registration to the villagers.
(3) Section 5.3.4 – Job card will be in the custody of the household to whom it is issued.
(4) Section 5.3.5 – Job card once registered shall be valid for a period of 5 years.
(5) Section 5.3.6 – Mandatory that job card once registered shall have to be read out in Panchayat meeting to maintain transparency.
(6) Section 5.3.9 – For non-issuance of job cards to the villagers, complaint can be lodged to the Program Officer (BDO) for necessary action.
(7) Section 12.3.1(1)[Transparency & Social audit] – Job card registration shall be carried out at a special village meeting (in open public gathering).
(8) Section 12.3.1(4) – This open process of registration will prevent registration of fictitious/bogus/ineligible names.
(9) Section 12.3.1(6) – A form, with a tear-away receipt at the bottom, will be given to the registered villagers.
(10) Section 12.3.1(10) – The final job card list will be put up for public display at the village Panchayat office and the list is required to be updated every 3 months.
(11) Section 6.4.4 – All NREGS works will be executed by the job card holders.
(III). Payment of NREGS wages.
(1) Payment should be made in a public place on fixed days to ensure that there is no ambiguity regarding payments.
(2) Payment to the villagers by the village authority should be read aloud.
(3) A list detailing wage payment must be displayed in the public notice board prior to reading aloud of payment made to the villagers.
The KDCC demanded to know whether VDB and Village Council authorities as well as BDOs and Project Director, DRDA, Kohima were diligent in implementing NREGS program in all the villages of Kohima District. The KDCC said the officers, if they were not observing the rules and provisions, were culpable and answerable to the public and government of India.

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