New Delhi: All rural development programmes
worth Rs 88,000 crore, including the flagship MNREGA, will
come under the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General of
India, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
"You will be happy that for the first time the government
has decided to bring all rural development programmes under
CAG audit," Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said in
the Rajya Sabha.
He said, "performance audits of the rural development
schemes will be carried out in 12 states and special AGs have
also been appointed for some states."
The minister was replying to a query by Mohan Singh (SP)
whether the Centre has any mechanism to deal with cases where
funds are misused in the states.
Ramesh said he had written to Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Mayawati pointing out large misappropriation of funds
in seven districts of the state - a comment that evoked sharp
reaction from members of BSP, which is in power in the state.
The BSP members charged the UPA with deriving political
mileage ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.
After complaints of misuse of central funds in MNREGA
scheme, Ramesh said while the Centre had the option to stop
release of money, he did not favour it.
For a CBI probe, state government`s approval is required
and no state government agrees to it. He said the third option
evolved then was to hold a CAG audit, after consultations with
the auditing watchdog.
On allegations of BSP members that UP was being neglected
in Prime Minister Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), Ramesh said
villages with a habitation of up to 999 will be connected to
road network under the scheme. After 90 per cent sanction
under first phase, habitations ranging between 600 and 799
will be covered, he said.
On demands that villages with up to 500 habitations should
be covered under the PMSGY, Ramesh said there was a resource
crunch as only Rs 20,000 crore has been allocated for it.