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Appellate Authority to be set up under MGNREGS

Bangalore, Oct 3, 2013, DHNS:

The State government has set up an Appellate Authority under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), to look into appeals against the orders of the ombudsmen under the scheme, said Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister H K Patil here on Thursday.

Former bureaucrat Chiranjeev Singh, Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi chairman H Srinivasaiah and former vice-chancellor of the Pondicherry Central University V T Patil are the members of the Authority. The decision to set up the Authority was taken at the meeting of the Karnataka State Employment Guarantee Council on Thursday, he told reporters.

The Council has received complaints against the MGNREGS ombudsmen in Davangere and Yadgir districts. There are a total of 26 cases against them. The MGNREG Act has a provision to set up the Authority. Hence, the Council took the decision, he said.

Patil said the Council also decided to seek the Centre’s permission for taking up construction of toilet-cum-bathrooms for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families under MGNREGS in the State.

The construction of toilet-cum-bathrooms will help improve hygiene in villages. Hence, the Council passed a resolution to seek the Centre’s permission. But the decision on the quantum of money to be fixed for the construction of bathrooms has not been taken yet. If approved, it will not only benefit the BPL families, but also the SC/STs and small farmers, he added.

The move to construct toilets under MGNREGS has been received well by the people. Over four lakh applications have been received so far seeking toilets and about 1.2 lakh toilets have been constructed. The target for the whole year is six lakh toilets. The government is now considering enhancing the target, he added.

Besides, the Council decided to extend all benefits under MGNREGS to all families which have women as their heads, irrespective of the size of land holding.

Families which have a differently-challenged person as a member will also be covered, the minister said.

The State government has received Rs 11,500 crore ever since the launch of MGNREGS. Of this, Rs 8,000 crore have been spent and Rs 3,500 crore have lapsed.


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