Rural job scheme's progress shoddy in Odisha: Jairam Ramesh

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 13, 2013 15:10 hrs

Bhubaneswar, July 13 (IANS) Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to intervene in the implementation of the job guarantee scheme in the state as its progress was unsatisfactory, official sources said Saturday.

In a letter to the chief minister July 12, Ramesh said the expenditure in the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in 2012-13 was Rs.1,515.79 crore.

"I have just reviewed the performance of MNREGA in Odisha in first quarter of 2013-14. While the total availability of funds as on July 10, 2013, is Rs.715 crore, the actual expenditure is only about Rs.359 crore. This is way below expectations," he said in his letter.

"Going by the expenditure so far and given the slow progress till now, this review is bring put off till the third or fourth week of August 2013 by which time hopefully the creation of person days and utilisation of financial resources would have improved," Ramesh wrote.

"I request for your personal intervention in the matter," he stated in the letter, a copy of which is in the possession of IANS.

Launched in 2006, MGNREGA scheme guarantees 100 days of employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

In May, Ramesh had pointed out several irregularities in the implementation of the job scheme in the state and had written to the chief minister to address them urgently.

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