Ombudsman unearths misuse of funds

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme (MGNREGS) ombudsman Sheena Shetty has unearthed misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 22,500, in the work taken up at Ira Gram Panchayat, in Bantwal taluk.

The ombudsman had ordered recovery of funds misappropriated while implementing MGNREGS. Already those involved in misappropriation have repaid the amount. The ombudsman has also slapped a fine of Rs 1,000 each on previous Panchayat Development Officer of Ira GP and Udyoga Mithra.

It was Sayyed from Ira who had complained to the ombudsman on October 9, to look into the work taken up using the funds available under the scheme during 2010-11 and 2011-12. In his complaint, he had alleged that the contractor’s help was availed while implementing the development work. The wage was credited to the account of those who had not worked in the development work.

Initially Sayyed had complained to the Panchayat authorities, to probe into the misappropriation. However, as the Panchayat officials failed to initiate measures against the erring officials, he had sought information on the development work under RTI Act. Based on the details which he received from the panchayat, he had filed a complaint before the ombudsman.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, the ombudsman said that during the probe, it was revealed that there was total violation of the scheme in seven work taken up under the scheme.
Shetty said that the PDO had accepted the mistake committed. “PDO had said that the wages were credited to the account of 24 persons who had not actually a part of the scheme.” “The rules of the MGNREGS were violated in the work taken up in the gram panchayat limits. There was mistake in the maintainance of Management Information System (MIS) by Udyoga Mithra.”

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