New Delhi,30 Apr:Union Minister for Rural Development, Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh today made the following Suo Moto statement on the status of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in the both Houses of the Parliament:“I feel happy to inform this August House that in the year 2007-08, about 3.37 crore rural households have been provided employment in 330 districts. 141.62 crore mandays have been generated. Each family has got an average of 42 days of employment during the year so far. Water conservation has been accorded top priority and accordingly 49 per cent of works taken up relate to water conservation.
Out of total 141.62 crore persondays, the share of Scheduled Castes is 38.70 crore persondays (27.3%) and Scheduled Tribes is 41.36 crore persondays (29.2%) constituting a total of 80.06 crore persondays which comes to about 56.53%. The share of women beneficiaries is 60.39 crore persondays which is 42.60%.During 2007-08, the Central Government had made a budget provision of Rs. 12,000 crore against which Rs. 12610.39 crore were released. Total available fund with States upto March, 2008 including Opening Balance was Rs. 19028.58 crore. The total expenditure reported till March 2008 is Rs. 15678.86 crore.
A total of 17.76 lakh works have been undertaken, out of which 8.05 lakh works have been completed.Under Water Conservation and Water Harvesting, 4,70,748 works were taken up which have created 1301.62 lakh Cu Metres of water storage capacity through Digging new tanks/ponds, percolation tanks and small check dams.Under Flood Control and Protection, 49,324 works were taken up which created 7.50 lakh km. of drainage in water logged areas through construction and repair of embankment.
A total of 89,359 Micro Irrigation Works were taken up for construction/renovation of 0.46 lakh km. of canals.A total of 2,61,299 works for provision of Irrigation facility to Land Owned by SC/ST, land reforms and IAY beneficiaries were taken up by which 0.65 lakh hectares of land were provided which irrigation facilities.
Under renovation of Traditional Water bodies, 1,32,479 works were taken up which created 1063.38 lakh Cu Metres of water storage capacity through desilting of tanks/ponds and traditional open wells.
Under land development, 2,86,793 works were taken up creating 10.85 lakh hectares of land leveling & bunding.
Under drought Proofing, 1,25,349 works were taken up which have improved 6.14 lakh hectares of land for afforestation and tree plantation. Under Rural Connectivity, 3,03,564 works were taken up for 4.00 lakh km. of road.
57,126 works under various other activities have been taken up.My Ministry is extremely conscious to ensure that eligible willing families get their entitlements and also proper utilization of resources. Accordingly we have taken following measures for ensuring strict vigilance, proper monitoring people’s participation, accountability and transparency.
Payment of wages to workers is to be made through the bank/post office accounts. I have requested the Hon’ble Finance Minister to advise all the banks to take pro-active steps for ensuring that bank accounts of the NREGA beneficiaries are opened on priority. I have also requested the Chief Ministers of all the States to ensure that the bank/post office accounts are opened at the earliest and payments are routed through these accounts. So far, 1,45,06,012 accounts have been opened. States have been asked to ensure that the accounts of all NREGA workers are opened by 31st March, 2008.
Social audit is the compulsory provision for transparency in NREGA. So far, social audit has been completed in 77,000 Gram Panchayats in different States. All States have been urged to intensify the social audit mechanism.
Verification of muster rolls have been taken up in campaign mode. System has been developed to ensure regular verification of the muster rolls. So far, more than 46 lakh muster rolls have been verified.
System have been developed by which 2% of NREGA works are inspected by the State Level officials, 10% by district level officials and 100% by block level officials so as to ensure observance of rules and procedures. During the year 2007-08, 8.48 lakh works have been inspected.
Four meetings of the Central Employment Guarantee Council have been held on 27.9.2006, 30.3.2007, 20.9.2007 and 6.2.2008 and two meetings of the Executive Committee have been held on 16.8.2007 and 5.2.2008. In addition, State specific reviews of NREGA in five States have also been undertaken – Jharkhand (May, 07), Tamil Nadu (July, 07), Orissa (November, 07), Uttar Pradesh (January, 08) and Maharashtra (February, 08). Members of the Central Council also participated in these review meetings.
A comprehensive web-based Management Information System (MIS) has been put into position. The data pertaining to entitlement, fund flow, details of works and monthly progress reports (MPR) are available in public domain. Copies of MPRs are regularly being sent to all Hon’ble MPs in their email account.
A comprehensive action has been taken up for awareness generation and people’s participation through intensive IEC campaign and also through constitution of work specific vigilance and monitoring committees followed by their training. So far, more than 9 lakh PRI functionaries, 1.77 lakh Government functionaries and over 2.46 lakh vigilance and monitoring committee members have been imparted training.
My ministry has also requested Vice-Chancellors of Universities, Directors of IITs and IIMs and various other reputed institutes for their participation in monitoring and evaluation of NREGA. I am happy to inform the House that overwhelming response has been received.
For sharing solutions and best practices, e-knowledge network have been put into position. Community based organizations have been involved in awareness generation, monitoring and social audit. It has been decided to introduce awards to be known as “Rozgar Jagrookta Puraskar” to recognize the outstanding contribution by the civil society organizations for promoting effective implementation of NREGA.
As a pro-active measure for assessing the status of observance of rules and procedures, Ministry had requested CAG to undertake performance audit of NREGA in the initial phase. Based on which, performance audit has been undertaken by CAG in 68 districts spreading over 128 blocks and 513 Gram Panchayats. The findings of the performance audit have been duly acted upon. Necessary corrective measures have been taken and steps have been taken to ensure corrective measures while extending NREGA in Phase-III.
I am confident that with active involvement of all the Hon’ble members of Parliament as Chairman/Co-Chairman of District Vigilance & Monitoring Committees, the Ministry of Rural Development would be able to implement NREGA with utmost efficiency and as per the expectations of the people of the country”.