Bhubaneswar: The state BJP Monday took a swipe at the state government over alleged irregularities in the implementation of Centre’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). The saffron party alleged that a rich family in Banki block of Cuttack is the beneficiary of the central scheme.
Holding a presser here, the party’s state general secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan said, “MGNREGS has been envisioned as a wage support system for the poor and unemployed. In Odisha, lakhs of people are migrating to other states due to a lack of assistance from the government. Many Odias, who had migrated to other states, wanted to come back during the pandemic after facing problems there.”
He said, in the last seven years, the Union government has given Odisha around Rs 16,000 crore under the scheme including Rs 4,436 crore last year. “Unfortunately, the state government that should have the morality to give assistance under the scheme to the poor people has failed to do its work properly,” he added.
The leader termed the state as a ‘serial offender’ as it has been failing to implement the scheme. “Odisha is the only state where MGNREGS works are fully undertaken through machines. 40 per cent of the works are done by producing false bills. Tight scrutiny of the system would expose several block development officers and engineers,” Harichandan said.
Stating that most of the benefits of the scheme were given to people close to the ruling party, he said, “At Nistipur village under Banki block of Cuttack district, all the family members of the sarpanch are MGNREGS job cardholders. The family has three big cars and they had gone to Thailand on vacation but they have been given job cards. The husband of the female sarpanch is the local president of the Biju Yuva Janta Dal,” he said.