CAG report on MNREGA by Dec: Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi: The CAG is expected to present the report of the first ever audit of rural job scheme – MNREGA – in December, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh told the Lok Sabha today.

Replying to supplementaries, Ramesh admitted to have received complaints from several quarters over irregularities in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in some states.

In a bid to step up vigilance of the rural job scheme, the minister said Chartered Accountants will also go through MNREGA records and physical verification will be carried out at 10-15 locations, he said.

Ramesh said physical verification of MNREGA records was being carried out in the wake of complaints received from some states of fake job cards being issued to rural job seekers.

The minister also dismissed as “totally unfounded” concerns expressed by some members that MNREGA scheme has had a negative impact on the availability of labourers for the agriculture sector. “I wish to categorically state that these fears are totally unfounded. 70 per cent of MNREGA employments are done during the agriculture off-season,” he said.

Ramesh said on the contrary MNREGA enrolments had taken a dip in 2011-12 when the country witnessed a good monsoon, indicating many rural job seekers had opted to work on farms. The minister said 30 new works, including 22 linked to agriculture sector, have been added to the MNREGA list as per suggestions received by Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh among others.