New Delhi: In order to get rid of the rampant corruption plaguing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MNREGS), the Central government has decided to bring a major change in the social audit system of its flagship welfare programme.

While the Lokpals appointed for auditing the scheme at the districts level would be removed, many prominent people appointed by the Rural Development Ministry will also face the music.

The 13-member committee constituted under the chairmanship of Mihir Shah, member, Planning Commission, is pondering over the shortcomings of the policy and the alternate amendments which can be introduced for its improvement.

Though many internal and external checks have been put in place, but according to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, the current vigilance system has been a complete failure. The rules have been openly flaunted while the presence of Lokpals in districts and inspection by senior officials has made no difference.

While the Lokpals are appointed on the recommendation of the state government, some distinct people are directly appointed by the Centre with favouritism deeply rooted in the selection process.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has written to the chief ministers asking for their opinion on the proposed changes.

Speaking to Jagran, Ramesh said, “We will wait for reply from the chief ministers for two weeks, after which the new rules will be implemented.”

It is to be noted that there is provision of Central Employment Gaurantee Council (CRGC) under the law for keeping a watch on the scheme which can be invited for the CAG investigation.

The other checks in place to bring transparency include appointment of senior officers in the Ministry for monitoring at national level. Professional institutes like IIT, IIM, Administrative Staff College of India, Forest Institute and all agricultural universities are also roped in for the task.

(JPN/Bureau)