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Loopholes in welfare schemes

The Centre has operationalised many schemes for the welfare of the poor, MNREGA being one of them. The implementation of MNREGA lacks proper management. The states are keen to receive funds but do not maintain proper accounts. There are no clear guidelines as to the documents to be maintained to keep a check on the flow of funds and execution of projects. Proper training is not imparted to the panchayat and ward members to enable their active participation.

No financial audits are carried out in a serious manner which must be done by the state authorities to ensure judicious utilisation of funds. An inventory of assets created in a year should also be maintained.

As suggested in the editorial, Misgivings about job scheme (February 7), it would be appropriate to form supervisory committees to oversee important social security schemes to plug the loopholes and eliminate malpractices.

At the local level, vigilance committees may also be formed to keep a check on the quality and to prevent the siphoning off of funds. Funds for the next year should be released only after the accounts of the current year are maintained properly.



There are several challenges before the government but the biggest worry is that workers should get payment on time and should be engaged for a year rather than for 100 days. 

The complaints of corruption should be seriously addressed. Social audit of all welfare plans with the association of active NGOs will help in making the scheme a success.

There is a need for post offices and banks to increase their reach in villages so that the wages get into the beneficiaries’ accounts directly. Grassroots organisations like gram panchayats need to be empowered.




There is need to have a relook at the micro-financing scheme for the poor to earn their livelihood with zero rate of interest instead of subsidies. We need to remove corruption in poverty alleviation programmes. It is satisfying to see that there is no wage discrimination under MNREGA, 2006, and it has removed gender inequality to some extent among the poor beneficiaries.

Prof MM GOEL, Kurukshetra

 Get finance-ready

The Punjab government has taken a loan against the future earnings of PUDA as mentioned in the editorial, Punjab's financial mess (February 8). All the state government procurement agencies like Markfed, Punjab Warehouse, Pungrain, Punjab Agro and Punsup which procured wheat under the Atta-Dal Scheme since the crop year 2007-08 onwards have not been reimbursed the payment against deliveries. Similar is the case with Mandi Board which is a procurement regulator.

The Akali government failed to avail itself of the bounties offered by the Centre. They did not stop free electricity supply to farmers which actually is not their demand as they want uninterrupted supply of power during the peak season.

The government also failed to downsize itself in its cheap popularity pursuit. Unplanned grants were made during ‘sangat darshans’. Let all parties aspiring to come to power in March start drawing their plans to set right the battered economy of Punjab by judicious governance.


Disgraceful act

It was disgusting to read the news report ‘K'nataka ministers caught watching 'porn' in House’. More shocking was the revelation that the persons viewing porn were none other than the representatives of the people and that too in the august House. One of them was the Women and Child Welfare Minister. How well will he save the honour of women and children is anybody's guess.

The punishment they deserve is expulsion from the government and  the party.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Semester system

The semester system initiated by the UGC and implemented by various universities is becoming a headache for teachers as well as students. Policies are not being implemented properly.

To implement the semester system, there should be sufficient manpower as well as a uniform pattern of syllabi. A uniform academic calendar should be followed throughout the country. There should be a four-month teaching period, followed by one-month examination and a month’s holiday in every semester.


Humiliating the distressed

The news report Fazilka flood-hit get paise 53 as relief (February 9) reflects the careless attitude of government officials when it comes to helping the common citizens in distress. The assessment of relief amount to be distributed appears to have been done without inspecting the fields. It is true that bank charges will be more than the relief amount in such cases and the recipients will stand to lose ultimately. The policy regarding minimum relief should be reviewed in the case of natural calamities so that adequate relief is given to the affected people.

SC VAID, Greater Noida



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