RDPR dept eliminates 20 lakh bogus job cards

RDPR dept eliminates 20 lakh bogus job cards

Plans to link biometrics and GPS attendance with MGNREGS

The Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj has eliminated about 20 lakh bogus job cards under its validation programme for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Speaking to Deccan Herald on Saturday, State Director of MGNREGS P Shivashankar said as a part of the first phase to implement the eFMS (Electronic Funds Management System), the department has eliminated these cards after ensuring that job card holders had their photograph taken and also linking it to their existing bank accounts, be it at the post office or co-operative or nationalised banks.

“Since this is a continuous process, in a shortwhile we will begin to link the job cards to Aadhar cards as well. The government has already issued a circular to the effect that beneficiaries of this scheme should have Aadhar cards, so biometrics will also be linked to these cards along with the photographs. A lot more cards would be weeded by April-May,” he said.

As the department is also planning to make biometrics compulsory for registration under the scheme, it is also a fall back option, in case the Aadhar programme does not go forward in the face of objections raised recently by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

“Biometric registration at the job site and GPS based attendance system are being considered as alternatives,” Shivashankar said. At present, there are 54 lakh job card holders of MGNREGS in Karnataka.

The eFMS system envisages the online transfer of  funds directly to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts, without any intermediaries.

However, the Nominal Muster Rolls will still be generated at the Gram Panchayat level and authenticated with a digital signature.

 As of now the eFMS is being implemented in Nelamangala and is being extended to Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Hassan, Mysore, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Bellary over the next two months.

Since the use of eFMS requires the opening of bank accounts in nationalised banks under the Core Banking System (CBS), the department is also planning to facilitate the beneficiaries to open accounts in these banks.

The opening of bank accounts in these banks is also dependent on Know Your Customer norms issued by the Reserve Bank of India and this is also expected to aid the department in cutting down on fraudulent beneficiaries.

At a review meeting held on Saturday held by  Joint Secretary (MGNREGS) of the Ministry of Rural Development D K Jain and Principal Secretary of RDPR Amita Prasad, strategy adopted for implementation, collection of existing bank account details and motivation to open bank accounts in CBS for getting eFMS benefit was discussed.

The Department is expected to implement eFMS in all the districts by the end of July.

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