Panchayat and Rural Development’s (P&RD) functioning shows irregularities -Report

Panchayat and Rural Development’s (P&RD) functioning shows irregularities -Report

GUWAHATI: Assistance that should reach target beneficiaries in 15 days, in many cases, have reached them after 28 years. This is Panchayat and Rural Development’s (P&RD) way of functioning in Assam.

According to guidelines, the next of kin of BPL families are to get lump sum assistance for the death of prime bread-earners under National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) within 15 days of death. However, it has come to light that such assistance are seen to have reached their target beneficiaries after 3 years-28 years. In one such case, the prime bread-earner of the family of Kare Taropi of Samelangso block in Karbi Anglong died on May 10, 1985. According to the guidelines, Taropi’s family was to get the assistance within My 25, 1985. It has come to the notice that Taropi’s family actually got the assistance sanctioned after 28 years and three months i.e. on August 30, 2013. This is not the only case of delay. In another instance, Bina Devi Bhuyan of Kathialuti Block in Nagaon district got such assistance under this scheme after 18 years and two months. There are 68 such cases under the scheme detected by the CAG in Nagaon, Kamrup and Karbi Anglong districts in which the assistances reached their target beneficiaries between 3 years and 28 years against the stipulated period of 15 days.

Corruption is also looming large in the scheme. According to the CAG, the sum of one-time assistance under NFBS was increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 in October 2012. However, in many cases the beneficiaries were made payment at the previous amount of Rs 10,000 even after the hike.

This is not all. In many cases, the death certificates submitted by the beneficiaries have the same serial number, which, under no circumstances is possible. Such anomalies are seen mostly in Karbi Anglong district.

The NFBS is under National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) that was launched in 1995 by the Government of India as a centrally-sponsored scheme. Under NFBS a lump sum family benefit is paid in case of death of the primary bread-earner between 18 years and 59 years age.

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