Lokayukta cops file 8 FIRs in misuse of MGNREGS funds

Lokayukta cops file 8 FIRs in misuse of MGNREGS funds

The Lokayukta police have registered eight FIRs in relation to the Rs 1,000 crore worth of irregularities in the execution of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme between 2008 and 2012. 

Based on the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report, the State government had handed over the investigation to the Lokayukta under section 7 (2) (a) of the Lokayukta Act.  
The CAG report stated that in eight districts—Ballari, Vijayapura, Chamarajanagar, Chikkaballapur, Gadag, Hassan, Raichur and Shivamogga—there have been instances of payments to non-existing job cards and individuals. The report also stated that payments were made to suppliers of work materials without mentioning details of the supplier. The order from the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department (RDPR) stated that the screening of Management Information System (MIS) of the scheme in 30 districts suggests that lakhs of job cards and individual names were deleted for “wrong entries”. 

“As a first step, we have registered eight FIRs pertaining to the CAG report in as many districts. As the investigation continues in these cases, the instances of similar irregularities will be taken up in the coming days,” an official said. “Between 2008 and 2012, a total of 3.49 lakh job cards and 8.23 lakh individual names were removed citing wrong entries as the reason. However, payments have been made to all these entries during all the years,” the order stated.

Similarly, 63.89 lakh individual names were proposed for deletion from the MIS. In the column ‘reason for deletion’ it has been stated as ‘others’. The government order stated that large-scale irregularities cannot be ruled out in the payments to all these entries, which is a whopping Rs 617.74 crore. 

A senior official said that 12.41 lakh bills were settled by making payments of Rs 1,717.17 to suppliers of materials for various works. In the column meant for entering details about the supplier, corrections were made and in all the columns it has been stated as ‘Local’. In eight districts, where the CAG conducted screening of all works, 3.32 lakh work bills have been settled by making the payment of Rs 446.45 crore. In all the entries, the details of the supplier were missing, the report stated. 

The RDPR has also urged the Lokayukta to probe into the works under the MGNREGS from 2007 till 2012 in all the districts. The order has directed the Lokayukta to find out the number of fake bills generated and funds misappropriated in this process. The Lokayukta has been asked to probe and report if unnecessary works have been taken up over the years and bills generated for the same work.