Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

BJP leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi on Saturday suggested the Odisha government to submit the previous audit report and utilisation certificate in time before seeking further funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for the State.

Aparajita’s reaction came five days after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik shot a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting timely release of funds for wage and material payment under the Scheme.

“I would like to draw your kind attention that Rs 1088.72 crore liabilities are pending (Rs 377.91 crore as wage component and Rs 710.81 crore as material component) under MGNREGS for Odisha,” the CM had stated in the letter.

However, Aparajita asked the State government to abide by the rules and regulations of MGNREGS for availing funds under the scheme.

“The Odisha government was supposed to submit the audit report and utilisation certificate before the Rural Development Ministry under the scheme by March 31, 2021 before seeking any more funds. However, the State government is not following the rules and seeking further grants under the scheme,” alleged Aparajita.

“The State government could submit the audit report and utilisation certificate only on November 1, 2021 and the fund of Rs 847 Crore under the scheme had been released immediately within five days. Like other states, Odisha must follow rules and regulations properly to avail the funds under the scheme,” she said.