Samal dismisses MGNREGS irregularity charges

Bhubaneswar: Even as the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Orissa, the state government put up a brave face and reiterated its stand that there have been no wrongdoings in execution of projects under the flagship rural employment scheme.

The state government, it may be mentioned here, have been maintaining from the very outset that no large-scale irregularities have taken place in implementation of MGNREGS in the state. It has also been claiming that several corrective measures have been taken for successful implementation of the scheme.  

State Panchayati raj minister, Prafulla Samal, dismissed the charges including bungling of funds and claimed that the government has followed all the guidelines issued by the Union government. He pointed out that no irregularities have taken place.

While addressing media persons here on Saturday, the minister maintained that there is actually very little scope of misappropriation of money as Orissa does have introduced a system of paying wages through accounts, either in banks or post offices. Orissa is, in fact, the only state in the country to have adopted this mechanism of wage payment to MGNREGS beneficiaries, the minister observed.   

“We have opened 39, 88,817 bank accounts and 12, 75,782 post office accounts for paying wages to the labourers under the scheme,” he said while admitting that there has been slight delay in wage payment in certain cases.

Rolling out further statistics, Samal claimed that all the families, who have registered themselves under the poverty alleviation scheme, are benefited.