Thursday, August 5, 2010
Monday, July 27, 2009
NREGA, a scheme with a view to provide relief to labourers and workers was launched with a lot of fanfare, and gave people a ray of hope that getting work in one’s village or near-by area would be a reality. But after 4 years, picture has not changed much from the past except those who are in charge of work under NREGA have made their fortunes. It is this very fact that has been stopping the realization of such welfare schemes, which needs a proper understanding as how this (the siphoning off money) can be stopped so that the real needy get the benefit of such schemes.
It is this nature of these schemes which requires an altogether different model so as to stop this unchecked malpractice. And it is urgently needed at this stage of NREGA to put the brakes on this mushrooming business of siphoning off the huge sums, which in reality ends up prospering those who are made guardians of such schemes, but instead become the real beneficiary of these welfare schemes! So these state sponsored welfare schemes need a serious re-look whether they are doing any service or just emptying state coffer.
A metamorphosis in the approach towards implementation and monitoring is must at this point of time as these two areas need a serious overhauling. The earlier it is understood, the better. Centre should devise some novel ways to ensure that such schemes do reach to the people for which they are aimed at. And this really needs a strong will on the part of those who have to call the shots in this matter. What is perplexing is the way these schemes are formulated keeping those who really need them, but end up shattering their hopes by the humungous embezzlement and swindling. Rahul Gandhi, the chief architect behind NREGA, confesses the siphoning off but amusingly doesn’t provide any remedy to this cancerous malady, which tantamounts to maintaining status quo. This is where we need some out of the box thinking which can at the least reduce the percentage of the amount being siphoned off. This year central government has increased the allocation to NREGA by almost 240%, but has not looked at the better and more efficient delivery mechanism to ensure that this massive amount is put to use with greater transparency. It is these above-mentioned steps which need to be taken care of rather than increasing the amount by a huge margin.
Minister of rural welfare Mr. Pradeep Jain blamed state governments for the mess on account of inefficient handling and lack of monitoring as well as their reluctance in implementing the scheme. But this isn’t the way out as it shoulders all the responsibility on the state, which is an erroneous approach as this approach leaves zero accountability on part of central government right after the allocation of funds to the states. It is this where central government needs to come forward and take more accountability and responsibility in ensuring that the huge amounts are utilized fairly. If even 30 to 40% money reaches to the intended destination, it would certainly make a huge impact in the conditions of the villagers and would prove to be catalyst in bringing about social justice to the forefront through such schemes.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I’m really in a fix as what to do with these self-proclaimed patrons of public sentiments, who they aren’t from any stretch of imagination.