MGNREGP: TDP stalls AP House proceedings
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Last Updated: Friday, March 02, 2012, 15:09
Hyderabad: Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh on Friday alleged that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme has become a "golden goose" for the ruling Congress party and demanded constitution of a House Committee to probe the irregularities in the implementation of the Central scheme.

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party stalled proceedings of the Assembly today demanding constitution of a House Committee even as the government found itself cornered on the issue.

The issue came up for discussion during Question Hour wherein the government admitted that a sum of Rs 120.64 crore was found to have been "deviated" of which Rs 48.21 crore was "misappropriated."

TDP senior legislator Ravula Chandrasekhara Reddy, who raised the MGNREGP issue, said there were high expectations over the scheme but the system actually collapsed. "There is a lot of confusion at the lower level due to too many orders (related to implementation) while there is duplication due to involvement of non-governmental organisations. What is the NGOs' accountability," Ravula questioned.

Another senior MLA Payyavula Keshav said the ombudsman to monitor MGNREGP works was totally diluted even as Congress rank and file from top to bottom was "looting" the job funds.

E Dayakar Rao suggested setting up a vigilance wing in each district for close monitoring of job works as the so-called social audit has become bogus.

Lok Satta Party legislator N Jayaprakash Narayan, who was part of the National Advisory Council that drafted the NREG Act, said creation of "physical visible assets" was most important under the scheme rather than the amount spent.

"Spending more funds on watershed schemes is mandatory under NREGP but that's not happening," Narayan pointed out.

CPI floor leader G Mallesh, CPM's J Ranga Reddy, BJP member E Lakshmi Narayana and TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao found fault with the government over allocation of works, particularly roads, on a nomination basis.

"Congress leaders with the help of field assistants were pocketing all the funds," Umamaheswara Rao alleged, and demanded that all such works given on nomination be cancelled.

Rural Development Minister Dokka Manikya Varaprasad, however, maintained that 18,000 minor irrigation tanks were developed with NREGP funds while nine lakh acres of land was developed.

"No works have been given to NGOs but we are using their services. We will not tolerate corruption and hence we have enacted a legislation to check misappropriation of NREGP funds," the minister said.

The Opposition, however, remained firm on its demand for constitution of a House Committee to probe the irregularities in NREGP but the government did not budge. The TDP members rushed to the Speaker's podium and stalled the proceedings following which Speaker Nadendla Manohar adjourned the House for 15 minutes.


First Published: Friday, March 02, 2012, 15:09

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