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Inadequate Central funding hits MGNREGS implementation in State

 Flagship programme of the Union government—Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), which is being implemented by the State Panchayatiraj department across Odisha, has been hit due to severe funds crunch.

An amount of around Rs 1,000 crore, needed for implementation of the pro-poor program, is pending clearance with the Central government. The State government had raised the issue with NITI Aayog recently. Repeated requests to release timely and adequate funds have not yielded desired results, said officials.

The implementation of the major program is stalled because of non-availability of funds as release of Central share has become irregular. Out of the approved labour budget of Rs 2,459 crore for eight crore man days, Rs 2,213 crore is Central share. However, the Union Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has released Rs 1,337 crore. However, sources in MoRD said Rs 1,865 crore has been released for the purpose.
Due to non availability of funds labourers are not able to receive their remunerations on time. This has adversely affected the implementation of the programme. Similarly for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) physical target for Odisha is 2.96 lakh units. Rs 1,108 crore was to be released as first instalment.
The State government has identified eligible beneficiaries under PMAY. However registration sanction and payment of instalment online has not been allowed by Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). So the programme’s implementation is affected and this will impact completion of houses under the scheme during the current fiscal, feel officials.
Beneficiaries for PMAY are selected out of socio economic caste census (SECC)-2011. But a number of villages are missing from the SECC List and eligible beneficiaries of these villages are deprived of availing houses under PMAY.
The State government has requested the MoRD to update the SECC list and add the eligible ‘kutcha’ households in the list so that poor beneficiaries are included under PMAY. The State government has raised another issue relating to SECC-2011. In Odisha, the villages are mapped to Gram Panchayat, Block and District as per the State’s Panchayatiraj system. Due to such irregular mapping, it is difficult to get information at GP, Block and district level.
Despite repeated requests from the State Panchayatiraj department, MoRD has not incorporated the GP and Blocks as per PRI structure in SECC-2011.
This is posing problem for the State government and accordingly NITI Aayog has been approached for taking up issue with MoRD, said sources. 


Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.


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