Dists under CBI scanner to get funds flow

Bhubaneswar:  Notwithstanding Centre’s decision to hold back funds under MGNREGA to six districts in the state in view of alleged rampant irregularities in the implementation of the rural job scheme, the state government would continue to channelize funds to the districts under CBI probe.

The last year’s balance of Rs 160 crore carried forward to this year’s account will be diverted to the six districts till Centre releases funds. The six districts—Bolangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Rayagada—were deprived of MGNREGA funds after Centre released funds for 24 districts in the state owing to allegation of bungling in the rural employment scheme.

As the beneficiaries in the said tribal dominated districts were largely dependent on the Centre-sponsored scheme, the disruption in funds flow left them in a state of desolation.  In view of this, the panchayati raj department had drawn Union government’s attention through a letter in which the former had stated that it had complied to MGNREGA guidelines besides initiating action against erring officials.

In addition to this, the state had urged to disburse funds to the remaining six districts or allow to go ahead with the scheme with the funds in hand.

“We are continuing with the scheme in these six districts with the remaining funds. In the meantime, we have taken up the issue with the Centre and hope to get positive response in this regard,” state Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said.

The state panchayati raj secretary yesterday held detailed discussion with his counterpart in New Delhi on this issue.  On arrival to the state capital on Thursday (June 23), he said the Centre is likely to reconsider the issue.

It may be noted here that the Centre had released Rs 529.82 crore on Saturday under MGNREGS for 24 districts as first installment for the current fiscal.