The proposed social audit of MGNREGA across the state on August 26 came in for a lot of flak at the state-level inter-action session on the scheme, Samvad.
The hue and cry over holding the social audit on that date comes in the wake of non-completion of certain mandatory issue like wall writing, handing over charges by various sarpanches etc.
Feedback from various people from across the state suggested that the mandatory wall writing for NREGA for intimating the public on the cost involved in hiring of labour, materials etc has still not happened in Bikaner, Dholpur, Sikar and Jhalore disticts. This, despite the fact that the state government's deadline expired in March.
Many sarpanches have not handed over charge. The sarpanches were supposed to hand over the charge in a prescribed format to the new incumbent intimating the latter of the goods and cash left behind as a measure to safeguard against corruption.
Anomalies of delayed payment, cooperative banks withdrawing NREGA workers money without their approval also crept up in the meeting.
On the positive side the NREGA Samvad had managed to percolate down to the districts with Churu and Dungarpur having extensive sessions. However, similar sessions in other districts such as Chhitorgarh and Baran failed to provide the essence of the meet as either they were not publicised properly or the collector remained engaged in other activities.
Churu has also taken giant strides in ensuring prompt payment. It is the only district in the country after Goa that is paying workers within 15 days. According to K K Pathak, collector Churu, "It is because of innovations in various forms and a strict monitoring of the system that we have been able to maintain the time line. There are many new techniques that we have come up with to ensure that the money is disbursed to the worker on time."
Finally, it was time to review the NREGA helping that was launched last week at Bhilwara. The helpline has till now got 19 complaints of which 14 have been addressed to and five are remaining.
According to Tanmay Kumar, commissioner NREGA, the helpline will be spread across the state. "The department has launched the expression of interest for parties wanting to set up the system. Hopefully, we would have the helpline in the state in two and a half month's time," he said.