Orissa assures cooperation in job scam probe

Orissa Thursday said it will extend full cooperation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its probe into alleged corruption in the implementation of a central government job scheme in the state.

Updated: May 12, 2011, 19:23 PM IST

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Orissa Thursday said it will extend full cooperation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its probe into alleged corruption in the implementation of a central government job scheme in the state.

"We will extend full support. We will provide all necessary cooperation," the state`s Panchayati Raj Department Secretary P.K. Jena told IANS hours after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into the implementation of schemes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in six districts of Orissa.

The apex court direction came in response to a writ petition filed by New Delhi-based non-governmental organisation Centre for Environment and Food Security (CEFS) in 2007.

A bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the CBI to file its first status report in six months.
Speaking for the bench, Justice Swatanter Kumar said the investigative agency will also take into account the March 2009 report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in respect to these six districts.

It was the CAG which first pointed out irregularities running into crores of rupees in the implementation of the job scheme in the state.
In its petition, CEFS sought the court`s intervention in ensuring a proper implementation of the MGNREGA job scheme in every state of the country, after a survey conducted by it found massive irregularities.

"We are satisfied with the direction. We had expected this," CEFS director Parshuram Ray told reporters.

The court also asked the central and all state governments to file affidavits within six weeks stating that they were implementing the scheme strictly in accordance with guidelines, he said.

IANS