New Delhi: Taking a serious view of the alleged misappropriation of funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) in some districts of Uttar Pradesh, the Union Rural Development Ministry has recommended for CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the state.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has written to Chief Minister Mayawati asking her to clear probe into the alleged corrupt practices in the welfare scheme in seven districts of the state including Balrampur, Gonda, Mahoba, Sonebhadra, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mirzapur and Kushinagar.

Ramesh said, “The UP government must pave way for the CBI probe if it has nothing to hide.”
In his letter, Ramesh has said: “The Annual budget of MNREGS in Uttar Pradesh has increased to over Rs 5000 crore. The performance of MNREGS in the state is poor in comparison to other states. The national monitors of MNREGS have, in at least 22 reports, made serious observations about the irregularities. It has been months since the report was placed, but no action has been taken on their report. The state has failed to act against some officials who have been accused of amassing illegal assets and of being involved in illegal activities.”

Warning the state government to stop funding the state under the scheme, Ramesh in his letter has said that the Rural Development Ministry would not resort any such act, though it has powers to do so, as that would lead to unnecessary punishment for the poor for a crime they have not committed. The Centre instead has decided to conduct a CBI inquiry and sincere support is sought from the state government, the letter says.

Ramesh, in his letter, has also questioned the role of the state government over the issue. The inaction on part of the state government is sending a message as if people in power have all the licenses to bend rules for their own interest, the letter contends.

JPN/Bureau