State seeks resumption of funds flow to six dists under CBI probe

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Monday shot off a letter to the Centre urging the latter to resume fund disbursement to the six districts which were under investigation for alleged irregularities in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

The state government, in the comminique, apprised the Centre on the steps taken on the alleged irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGA. The government has furnished the action taken report, initiated stern action against erring officials besides conforming to the guidelines laid down by the Centre, the letter said.

If funds are not released for the six states, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Bolangir, then the poor beneficiaries would be benefitted from the Centre-sponsored rural employment scheme, the letter added.

"We have taken up the matter with the Union government and we expect it will release funds soon", state Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik said.

State Panchayatiraj department dispatched the letter to the Union Ministry of Rural Development for early disposal of funds for the districts where CBI probe is underway.

"We have already consulted them telephonically and expect a positive response in next week. We have about Rs 170 crore remaining under the scheme. In this scenario, work is already in progress. We request the Centre to allow us to utilize the funds in these six districts also", Panchayatiraj Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena said.

For 2011-12 fiscal, the state had sought Rs 2300 crore of which Rs 529 crore was released in the first phase.

While releasing the funds, the Centre had asked the state government to exclude six districts under CBI scanner. The Centre had said, the state should utilize 80 per cent of the funds under the scheme and it would qualify for fund disbursement provided UC (utilization certificate) is submitted to the Centre.