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Ramesh calls MNREGA execution `patchy`

Terming implementation of MNREGA as "patchy", Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh expressed concern at leakage of funds meant for the scheme.



New Delhi: Terming the implementation of
UPA`s flagship programme MNREGA as "patchy", Rural Development
Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday expressed concern at leakage of
funds meant for the scheme but hoped that the proposed `NREGA
2.0` will deal with the problems in the coming times.

"There are serious, serious shortcomings in its
implementation...The record of its implementation is very
patchy...and therefore, we have a huge challenge," Ramesh said
at a programme here.

He said while he is a strong supporter of MNREGA, "I
think we also recognise that there are very serious issues in
its implementation which is detracting from its effectiveness
which needs to be addressed sooner rather than later."

Referring to some of the shortcomings in its
implementation, he said while the wage earner has to get his
wage within 15 days of the last day of employment, the period
may extend upto nine months onwards.
"Quality of the community assets (which the scheme seeks
to create) leaves a lot to be desired. There are of course the
usual stories we read about in the Indian press about leakages
of funds," he said at a programme organised by the Public
Diplomacy Division of the MEA.

Ramesh said a Chief Minister of a North Indian state had
told him that NREGA has been responsible for the
"proliferation of Boleros and Pajeros in the state."

"The money that was meant for NREGA has been diverted
for purchase of Boleros and Pajeros," he said.

He said the recently unveiled NREGA 2.0 could remove the
shortcomings of NREGA 1.0 in the coming days when it is
implemented in parts.

But at the same time Ramesh insisted that the programme
was not faulty but needed greater planning at the grass-roots
level.
"I don`t think we should draw the conclusion that this is
a faulty programme. It is a programme which demands a very
high degree of local level planning...Civil servants and
government should be ready to take the flak which could arise
out of implementation of schemes," he said.

The Minister said `NREGA 1.0` has captured people`s
imaginatiopn in different parts of the country and it has
increased agricultural wage rates and it has reduced
migration.

He said the programme has also created "community assets"
in the form of water bodies.

Ramesh claimed that the programme has far more skeptics
here than outside. "I Get more yawns within this country than
outside," he said

He said the recently unveiled NREGA 2.0 could remove the
shortcomings of NREGA 1.0 in the coming days when it is
implemented in parts.

He said no legislative amendments required its
implementations and a series of executive orders from Centre
and states was all it needed.

Activist Nikhil Dey said the programme should be such
that it should function without a good `sarpanch`, DM or a
Chief Minister.

A documentary `Bridging the gap between India and Bharat`
was also shown at the programme and Foreign Secretary Ranjan
Mathai said it was effort on part of the Public Diplomacy
division to show both `India` and `Bharat` together.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s daughter Upinder was also
present at the programme.

PTI

From Zee News

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