Wrong agency was chosen for women's scheme: CAG

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its report on public sector undertakings for 2012, has observed that the selection of the nodal agency by the Karnataka State Women’s Development Corporation for implementing the e-Mahile scheme was faulty.

In its report, the CAG said the Corporation had formulated a scheme called e-Mahile for assisting women members of the Sthree Shakti groups in 10 districts. It was proposed to provide financial assistance to set up IT-enabled information and service centres in the State.

The Yashaswini Nagara Hagu Grameena Abhivruddhi Parishat (YNGAP), a Davangere-based NGO, was selected as the nodal agency for setting up kiosks, without inviting tenders. In May 2007, the Parishat submitted the proposal.

The Board of Directors of the Corporation, in September 2007, approved the proposal to start 30 centres each in 10 districts, with the condition that the Parishat should furnish a bank guarantee of Rs five lakh to the Corporation and enter into an agreement to the effect that it would repay the margin money with an interest of four per cent per annum to the Corporation.

The Corporation entered into a MoU in February 2008 with YNGAP to commence 300 e-Mahile centres in 10 districts. The cost of the gadgets to be given to the beneficiaries was Rs 1.80 lakh. The banks sanctioned loan to 106 beneficiaries for establishing the centres.

The CAG has observed that 106 centres spread over 11 districts were to be supplied with equipment. The YNGAP failed to ensure supply of equipment to 79 of the 106 beneficiaries (Dec 2012), though the entire amount was released in advance. The equipment supplied was faulty and sub-standard.

The beneficiaries could not generate revenue and thus repay the loans. The beneficiaries were deprived of the assured monthly income of Rs 3,000. The Corporation, in March 2010, filed a police complaint against the Secretary of YNGAP for violation of the terms of the MoU. The case is pending for settlement.

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