Panchayats should keep watch on MNREGA funds: Ramesh

Panchayats should keep watch on MNREGA funds: Ramesh

"Panchayats should keep a tab on the working of MNREGA. Roads being built one season is being swept way in the next monsoon due to corruption," Ramesh said at a Panchayati Raj Convention organised by the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee here.

"I have seen in West Midnapore that black top of roads missing within three years of constructing the metalled roads under the scheme, this should not happen and has to be kept a tab upon by the panchayat system," he said.

The Rural Development Minister visited Lalgarh, Binpur, Salboni and Sadar blocks of Maoist-affected West Midnapore district yesterday. 60 districts in the country were declared as Maoist-affected and West Midnapore was one, Ramesh said, adding, the proposal of soon including the districts of Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal was being considered.

Ramesh also assured additional funds to the state for rural development. "I have told the West Bengal Chief Minister that there will be no dearth of funds for rural development," Ramesh said.

Rs 640 crore had been provided to the state for 1200 km rural roads, he said. "We spend Rs 1 lakh crore annually for rural development across the country but West Bengal gets only Rs 4,000 crore. With its population of 9.5 crore, it should get over Rs 9000 crore," he said.

The minister said the only reason for the state getting less funds was that the previous Left Front government in the state had not asked for additional funds. 850 km of rural roads have been built in the last 10 years in West Bengal, Ramesh said, adding "I assure 600 km in two years from now in the state."