New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday asked states to pay "special attention" to ensure effective functioning of state and district level vigilance panels formed for monitoring rural development schemes.
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today reviewed the progress of his Ministry`s various schemes with the Centre and state government officials.
The Minister found that the vigilance and monitoring committees, which were formed for monitoring spending of large public funds, remain non-functional in many states.
"State governments are required to pay special attention to this matter, in view of the keen interest shown by the Members of Parliament. All the state governments and district authorities should ensure that meetings are held as frequently and in the manner as prescribed in the guidelines," the Ministry`s directive issued at the meeting, said.
"267 districts in various states have not reported even a single meeting during the year 2012-13 till January 4, this year," a senior Ministry official told a news agency.
Two years ago, the Centre had given direction to states to form vigilance panels for providing a crucial role for the MPs, MLAs and panchayati members in the implementation of the Rural Development programmes like MNREGA.
The states were also advised to put in place a mechanism to monitor the execution of the schemes in the most effective manner and within the given time-frame.
The Ministry wants public funds are put to optimal use and programme benefits flow to the rural poor in full measure. These Committees are also expected to effectively liaise and coordinate with the Rural Development Ministry and state governments.
According to the guidelines, the Ministry can consider withholding fund releases to districts which do not hold regular meetings of vigilance and monitoring committees.