Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Bhubaneswar: Orissa Government virtually threatened Centre for stopping the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) grant to six Orissa districts. In a written communication to Center Orissa PanchayatiRaj Secretary P.K Jena said, if central funds are not received for six districts, the state government should not be made liable for payment of un-employment allowance.
As per guidelines, the state government meets the cost of unemployment allowance for those people who don’t get work even after they demand for that. The secretary also urged to center to immediately release funds for six tribal dominated districts of Orissa Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Bolangir, for which center has stopped providing assistance. These districts are presently under CBI scanner, as massive irregularities in implementation of MGNREGS reported in different areas.
On the other hand, the state government decided to continue the implementation of wage employment projects under (MGNREGS) in the six districts. “We will continue the work with whatever funds are available with us,” said chief secretary Bijay Patnaik.
According to official figures, Rs 2,300 crore was sanctioned by the Centre for Orissa for 2011-12. However, only Rs 529.82 crore was released to the state.