Thursday, June 17, 2010


NREGA funds misuse

Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, June 18, 2010 published in Letters Column - Editorial Page 8:

NREGA fraud

It is gratifying to note that a Panchayat President was sacked and staff suspended over corruption in NREGA funds (Panchayat Chief sacked over NREGA funds - Deccan Chronicle, Chennai - June 17).

It is regularly reported by social audits that a part of NREGA funds totaling over Rs. 40,100 crores are being siphoned out in collusion with officials. Is it possible for the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department to check over 250,000 panchayats of India?

Would it not be better to introduce Biometric Smart Card based work tracking and payment? By this, payment by cash can be stopped. The Biometric Smart Card can be linked to a money account as a Debit Card to empower the poor to draw rations from PDS shops and make purchases from the open market using the Smart Card. This can plug the leakages in the NREGA funds and PDS system.

Kris Dev, Chennai

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