Clear liabilities for MGNREGS funds: Govt to State

The Centre may turn off the flow of fund to Karnataka for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government’s flagship rural job scheme if the State government fails to clear all liabilities and does not meet the conditions that the recent release of Rs 774.50 crore was subjected to.

The Union Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) last week conveyed to the State that it must settle all accumulated liabilities under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for the financial year 2012-13 before seeking release of the second instalment of funds under the programme for 2013-14. 

The Centre did not initially release the first instalment of the current financial year’s MGNREGS fund to Karnataka because due to under-utilisation of the allocations last year, the unspent balance of Rs 345.56 crore available with the State at the beginning of 2013-14 was adequate to generate wage employment of 1.09 crore person-days till September.

The MoRD, however, subsequently released Rs 774.50 crore to the State Employment Guarantee Fund of Karnataka on June 13, 2013, so that the State could meet the accumulated liability of 2012-13 under the rural job scheme.

But the Centre made it clear that subsequent instalments of the MGNREGS fund would be released only after receipt of updated status of disposal of complaints, acceptance of compliance audit observations by Accountant General of Karnataka, action taken report on the observations of national level monitors of the scheme, and status of appointment of ombudsman in all districts as well as submission of physical progress and conduct of special audit on pending liability.

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