The pending amount under rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA to Andhra Pradesh will be cleared after the state government clarifies the discrepancies noticed in the documents it has submitted, Union Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, December 15. Speaking during the Question Hour, Singh also asked TDP member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar to submit in writing the alleged diversion of funds allocated under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) by the Andhra Pradesh government.
"No dues are pending towards Andhra Pradesh under the scheme â€¦ Some discrepancies have been noticed in the documents submitted by the Andhra Pradesh government. We have sought clarification from the state government," Union Rural Development Minister Singh said in the Upper House of Parliament. For instance, it has been noticed that figures do not match in audit and balance sheet reports submitted by the state government, he said.
The Union government follows a set procedure for clearing funds. Certain documents related to audit, social audit, and appointment of Lokpal at the district level are mandatory for clearing funds, Singh added.
The Minister was responding to a query from YSRCP leader V Vijaysai Reddy who sought early release of pending dues of Rs 1,341 crore towards material payment under MGNREGA. The YSRCP leader in his supplementary question asserted that there were no discrepancies and the Union government was making "false allegations that cost has been inflated."
To this, the Minister said more than Rs 35,000 crore has been released to the state. "I want to assure the state government that the pending dues will be cleared the day it gives clarification," he said.
Responding to a query from TDP member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar on alleged diversion of MGNREGA funds in the state and non-payment to contractors, the Minister said he does not want to comment on the issue as he has not received any complaint. However, the Union government has sought clarification on the discrepancy noticed in documents the state government had submitted for clearance of funds, he said.
Singh told the TDP member that his ministry will investigate if a written complaint is given.
Responding to a query from BJD member Prasanna Acharya on increasing wages under the scheme at par with state governments, the minister said wages have been increased by 20%. He also mentioned that there has been an increase in the allocation of funds under the scheme over the years. About Rs 4.89 lakh crore has been released in the last seven years, Singh said.