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Government seeks to cancel fake MGNREGA cards

There have been several complaints that though a number of beneficiaries of Bangla Awas Yojna had received funds, they did not construct houses.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

To prevent the practice of cut-money at source, the district authorities are now set to go for mass cancellation of fake job cards issued by different panchayats to fake beneficiaries across the district. The district administration has also decided to slash several types of jobs under the MGNREGA which in the past were used by the supervisors and local leaders of the ruling parties to siphon off funds.

According to the district magistrate, Mr Vijay Bharti, a number of panchayats in Burdwan (East) had a lackadaisical approach or had not come forward to participate in several government schemes. “We have decided to seek explanation from the unwilling panchayats why they abstained from the schemes as their lack of response caused the people to suffer,” he said.

Also, the district officials have received several complaints that a number of beneficiaries had received funds under Bangla Awas Yojna and Geetanjali schemes but didn’t construct houses. The officials suspect them to be fictitious beneficiaries. A senior official said: “We are preparing a list and action will be initiated against such persons soon.”

The district also plans to reduce the number of certain MGNREGA jobs, like digging of pond, construction or renovation of village road. The DM, Mr Bharti, said: “We have observed that these types of jobs give ample opportunity to fraudsters to loot government money either by issuing fake job cards or by citing fictitious number of man-days with an intention to draw more funds than the actual expense.” Burdwan (East), incidentally had topped in achieving the highest number man-days under MGNREGA last year. The DM stated: “We shall now rather stress on creating permanent assets in the villages which would make the rural people self-reliant.” Projects like nursery, poultry, fishery will be given more emphasis under the MGNREGA, the officials said. Each panchayat, the DM said, “will have solid liquid waste management plants under the MGNREGA, we have planned.”