Francis admits job card bungling

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IMPHAL, July 6: Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister, Francis Ngajokpa has acknowledged that there have been cases of undue allocation of job cards under the MGNREGS.

He was clarifying to a cut motion raised at the House today regarding demand for Panchayati Raj by opposition leader Trinamool MLA Dr I Ibohalbi and NCP MLA L Ibomcha.

Ibohalbi in his motion queried whether an executive order has been issued for decentralizing administrative powers to the Panchayat bodies as per cabinet resolution taken on September 2, 2005. He asked if the District Planning committees are functioning as he himself being a member was never invited to attend even one meet while stating that without proper functioning of the Planning committees there can be no development in the Panchayat system.

Brandishing job cards the MLA said the job cards are circulated to many ineligible persons. He charged that one card should be given to an underprivileged family, whereas as many as five card holders from a family in his constituency and similar cases are found at the maximum.

In his area, the number of households is 611 and the job cards count is above 700, the scenario is similar in his four wards. “Even pradhans are purchasing flats at Guwahati, the system needs to be checked”, he said.

Dr Ibohalbi demanded clarification of the comment behind the recent visit of Union Minister Jairam Ramesh where he said that the ‘MGNREGS implementation in the state is too good to be true’. The opposition leader also questioned on the issue of amalgamation of four gram panchayats from Kangpokpi ADC to Khurkhul GP.

Clarifying to the motion, Minister Francis said that devolution of power for five departments out of the total sixteen has already implemented to the Panchayat and the rest is yet to be endorsed.

He further said that regarding overlapping of constituencies, there is no doubt as a vast survey has been carried out household wise and the recorded data is uploaded on the internet. According to the 73rd Amendment of 1992, the Manipur Panchayat Act came into force from 1994.

The Panchayat election held in 2007 excluded, the said four villages of Kangpokpi ADC were left out as no individual came forward to contest due to pressure. The administration of the four Kangpokpi GP would best be done if amalgamated into Khurkhul GP, and there is no complaint or dispute in the regard, the minister said.

Minister Francis said,there are more than 4,65,008 job card holders in the state. Clarifying on the Jairam Ramesh comment he said that the Union minister has stated that the MGNREGS implementation is an outstanding achievement and would send a team to carry out an audit.

Suggesting to Ibohalbi that there may be discrepancies in allotment of job cards,Francis appealed Ibohanbi to meet him personally to help him clear up the job card fiasco.

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