NREGS auditors in State go without pay

NREGS auditors in State go without pay

For the past six months, the social auditors who are responsible for supervising, guiding, rectifying errors in the programme’s implementation, and motivating people to take up more and jobs under the scheme, have not been paid th­eir emoluments.

Amid the uncertainty and questions of survival for the social auditors, who are thems­e­lves villagers, many have quit their jobs or have taken up part-time employment to make ends meet.

Adverse effect

The Congress-led UPA government’s ambitious flagship scheme, which is ai­med at ensuring that the benefits of its rural programmes actually go to the poor, may now be adversely affected because social auditors empowered villagers to act as watchdogs.
Some of the jobless social auditors have taken to jobs like pr­ess workers, packaging wo­rkers, tutors and a host of other part-time employment that can earn them enough to run their families.

Some women, who earlier worked as MGNREGS social auditors, now roll beedis or are into small-time tailoring.

And yet there are some who, despite being on the margins, are utilising the money they earn for their part-time jobs not just to run their families but also use it for rural visits related to their audit work.

No pay for six months

There are 30 district co-ordinators and about 204 taluk co-ordinators in the State and these social auditors have not received their salaries since December 2010.
Every district coordinator should get a salary of Rs 12,000 along with Rs 3,000 as travelling and dearness allowance.

Likewise, taluk coordinators get Rs 10,000 as salary and  Rs 2,000 as TA/DA. While most of the district coordinators have clung to their jobs, a large number of taluk co-ordinators have walked out.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, MGNREGS State Director P Shivshankar said that Abdul Nazeer Saheb State Institute of Rural Development (AN­SSIRD) used to make paym­ents for the social auditors’ salaries since the creation of the post in 2009.

But six  months ago, the ANSSIRD took a stand that it will not take the responsibility of paying the social auditors, citing the reason that it cannot concentrate on training the candidates.

“Following this, I have writt­en to all the zilla panchayat CEOs to see to it that they he­nceforth make payments to the social auditors. I have even directed to make temporary recruitment for the vacant posts,” said Shivshankar, adding that this move contradicts the initial idea of keeping the social auditors independent of CEO influence. However, Shivshankar said  the problem will be set right soon as there are plans of bring in the Andhra Pradesh model of social auditing.

“Social auditing has not been of great help in Karnataka. So, a delegation has gone to Andhra where the auditing is being done efficiently. Once the report comes, we will take suitable aspects and bring about change in social auditing system,” Shivshankar said. 

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