Centre to probe MGNREGA irregularities in West Bengal

Ministry of Rural Development will conduct an enquiry into allegations of misappropriation of funds under MGNREGA in Murshidabad

NEW DELHI | Updated: 17 March, 2023 4:59 pm IST
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National Level Monitors (NLMs) from the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) will probe into alleged irregularities and misappropriation of funds under MGNREGA in the Beldanga II block of Murshidabad in West Bengal.

MRD has also issued a letter to the District Magistrate and Additional District Magistrate, Murshidabad, in this regard.

“The Central Monitoring Team, under the guidance of the undersigned, will be visiting your district for an enquiry under MGNREGA from 17-03-2023 to 22-03-2023. Please convene a meeting at 9:30 AM on 18-03-2023 or (as per telephonic conversation and intimated) with the MGNREGA scheme in-charge and concerned BDO (Block Beldanga-ll) at the district level,” the letter read.

“Please direct your subordinate officers and Block Development Officer (Block Beldanga-II) along with field functionaries to extend cooperation and provide all required information to the Central team,” the letter further stated.

Dr Meenakshi Hooda, Director, MGPCS, National Level Monitors, Ministry of Rural Development, along with another official, will be reaching Kolkata on Saturday, March 18, to begin the enquiry. The Block Development Officer (BDO) will be there as a liaison officer for a successful enquiry.

The MNREGA, which stands for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005, is a law that ensures the right to work and provides social security. Its primary objective is to improve the quality of life in rural areas by offering a minimum of 100 days of paid employment per year to one person from each household, thereby increasing livelihood security.

The move holds significance as West Bengal is gearing up for the panchayat elections. Keeping the elections in mind, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) often complained about the lack of funds under the scheme. TMC often complained that the lack of funds was affecting the development of the rural sector in West Bengal.

The Ministry of Rural Development has received complaints regarding “some irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGS in some districts of West Bengal”.

Accordingly, this Ministry has decided to delegate teams of NLMs for conducting a detailed enquiry into complaints related to irregularities under MGNREGS in West Bengal.

“I welcome the Central Enquiry into the allegation of irregularities & misappropriation of funds under MGNREGA in Beldanga II Block of Murshidabad by the National Level Monitors assigned by the @MoRD_GoI. Constant Central monitoring is certainly eradicating corruption steadily,” tweeted Suvendu Adhikari, Leader of the opposition, West Bengal.

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