Clarification: Panchayat & Rural Development
This has reference to the clarification on the Editorial of The Sentinel published on November 28, 2017. In the Editorial, it is mentioned that ‘‘even big-ticket Central schemes like MGNREGS are stuttering in the State with Central funds not forthcoming, but that is hardly surprising considering how badly these schemes have been leaking over the year, riddled with irregularities, having little to show in terms of helping targeted beneficiaries’’.
It is to be clarified that there is no dearth of fund in implementation of MGNREGS. The state has been receiving funds for the scheme time to time without any hindrance. It may be mentioned here that it is a demand based programme. The families who are willing to do un-skilled labour are assured to get 100 days of employment in a fincial year. Thus the job card holders who have performed un-skilled labour are being paid their wages directly in their account from the Govt of India. On the other hand, the funds for the material cost are also being released time to time as per ratio. Here it can be mentioned that in the FY 2016-17 Rs 930.21 Cr. had been received for wage and Rs 226.38 Cr. had been received for material cost. Similarly, in the current fincial year 2017-18, Rs 465.48 Cr. is received for wage and Rs. 335.98 Cr. are received for material cost till date. The implementation of the scheme is going on smoothly. There is no question of paucity of fund.
Similarly, in case of schemes like PMAY-G, NSAP and 14th Fince Commission also the department is not facing any insufficiency of fund.
Panchayat & Rural Development, Assam.
Two wrongs can't make things right. The recent heartrending events are the outcome of two wrongs. The State government can be faulted on two counts. In the first place, the question is why the government had allowed people to occupy forest land at their sweet will and construct huts and buildings. It breeds another important question; why were electricity connections provided to those areas? Therefore, it is obvious that the district administration was oblivious to illegal activities which were going on in their realm. Rather, they extended support to them to carry out illegal activities for decades.
In the second place, why were their huts and homes razed to the ground without proper planning to rehabilitate them? Most of them are poor people. After all, they are our people. Just giving advance warning to leave the place is not enough. Where will they go within a short notice period? The government should have taken initiative of rehabilitating the locals by allocating land in suitable locations in advance. The outrageous process adopted for eviction, left people in the lurch. Even Syrian refugees got much better treatment in Europe!
Small things often take a mecing proportion when we forget to practice the sayings like 'Stitch in time saves nine' or 'Spark neglected burns the house'. In the same breath I would like to mention that cars and motorbikes are parked on footpaths of Guwahati city under the very nose of district administration. The days are not far when bikers or car owners would claim it their right to park vehicles on footpaths.