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MPs seek revision of job guarantee scheme

Posted on Nov 28, 09:43PM | IANS

Parliamentarians Wednesday raised concerns about the existing corruption in the UPA government's flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MNREGS), saying it needs to be revised to ensure better implementation and reach.

Speaking at a seminar on 'Hunger in India: A Silent Emergency', Rajya Sabha member M.S. Swaminathan said the time has come to rework the job guarantee scheme.

"It has a tremendous potential and government needs to revise it to make it corruption-free and to take it beyond 100 days of employment. The scheme should lead to social transformation," he said.

The scheme was launched in 2005 to provide 100 days of legal employment to people.

Lok Sabha member Abhijeet Mukherjee said the scheme was started with a good intention but it ended up in making people corrupt as beneficiaries got money without even working.

"NREGA is a wastage of money, time and effort as 80 percent of the money provided under the scheme is going to wrong people," said Mukherjee, son of President Pranab Mukherjee.

He said the problem lay with the implementation as many ineligible people had benefited from the scheme.

Some panellists appreciated the scheme, saying it had improved the status of poor people in villages.

"It is one of the schemes that has increased the wages of labourers and they are earning much more than what they would have otherwise. The scheme needs to be revised to ensure transparent implementation and reaching the needy," said Biraj Patnaik, principal advisor to the commissioners of the Supreme Court on the right to food case.