MGNREGA: Of 45 issues reported so far during social audits in 2022-23, not a single closed yet | Jaipur News

JAIPUR: Of 45 issues reported during social audit of MGNREGA work in 2022-23 (till date), not a single has been closed or resolved yet and are pending at the level of the rural development and panchayati raj department, audit report on MGNREGA MIS report has revealed.
Meanwhile, the rural and panchayati raj department has issued an order on September 6 stating social audits would be conducted in the state in two phases – from September 19-23 and October 10-16 – at 704 gram panchayats (302 and 402 GPs) for works done under MGNREGA, PMAGY-G, midday meal and Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen in the first and second half yearly of 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Out of 11,340 gram panchayats, social audits were conducted at 508 (4.48%) GPs at least once this year, the audit report has revealed. It also stated that the total amount of financial misappropriation amounted to Rs 3.66 lakh and total amount of financial deviation was Rs 43,501. The department’s social audit director Sandeep Chauhan refused to comment over phone.
Earlier, the state government had tied up with Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) to conduct a residential training programme under Suchna Evam Rozgar Abhiyaan for carrying out social audits of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work in the state.
Mukesh of MKSS said, “Social audits that were carried out by the department earlier were mere paperworks. Those were not actual audits. The sarpanch sangh was opposed to social audits being conducted by people trained by MKSS. They do not want transparency and accountability in social audits. We will continue to fight for transparency in social audits.”
“Now, the government has issued a fresh calendar for social audits in the state. We will demand that members of civil society groups should also be included in the process of conducting social audits.”
Social activist Aruna Roy, a member of Suchna Evam Rojgar Adhikar Abhiyaan, a civil society group, had in August accused the state government of ‘disrupting the process of social audit’ and making it ‘ineffective’ due to pressure from the Sarpanch Sangh.
In a press statement issued by the group, it stated, “According to an order, dated August 6, as per instructions given during the high-level talks with the Sarpanch Sangh, the words ‘members of the civil society organisations and members of Suchana Evam Rojgar Adhikar Abhiyaan’ were deleted by making amendments to point number 3 of the Office Order No. 8976, dated July 26, which talks about selection and formation of social audit teams.
“The Abhiyaan believes Sarpanch Sangh’s opposition to social audit is an unfair and illegal step and the government’s submission to their illegal demands raises questions about the transparency and accountability of the government,” it stated. “It is worth mentioning that the group has not conducted any social audits. It has only trained the social audit teams so that audit could be conducted as per criteria set by the CAG. The question arises, ‘why are sarpanches and village development officers scared of the social audit,” it stated.

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