STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 14 July
Low expenditure under the MGNREGA in Odisha during the first quarter of the current fiscal has prompted Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to defer a review of labour expenditure scheduled for the end of this month to the end of August.
Mr Ramesh informed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik about the decision through a letter.
The expenditure under the MGNREGA in Odisha during the first quarter is only fifty per cent of the available funds, he said. 
The state has Rs 715 crore but a review showed that it has spend only Rs 359 crore. This is far below expectations, said Mr Ramesh.
The expenditure under MGNREGA in 2012-13 in Odisha was Rs 1181 crore and the estimates for 2013-14 is Rs 1515.79 crore, he noted.
Mr Ramesh hoped that by the end of next month, the situation would improve both in terms of person days created and expenditure of available funds.
It is pertinent to note that earlier this month, Mr Ramesh had written to the CM pointing out at the poor performance on the PMGSY front. The Union Minister had said that the state does not have the capacity to spend the funds sanctioned by the Centre as far as the PMGSY is concerned and it needs to put the structural requirements in place.
Mr Ramesh had also stated that the quality of work under the rural road scheme left much to be desired and regular inspections by concerned authorities were not taking place.