Dead man receives MNREGA wages for four years in Gujarat

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Gandhinagar: A latest example of a scam related to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) was unearthed in Gujarat, where a man of Bodeli Tehsil in Chhota Udepur district, who died four years back was issued a job card and payment was made to his account. The the local MLA Mohansinh Rathwa brought this scam to the light of the Gujarat state Assembly, which was even acknowledged by the Gujarat Agriculture Minister.

Scams related to the payment under the MNREGA scheme continue to surface in the state.

During the Question Hour of the ongoing Budget session, Mohansinh Rathwa on Tuesday, mentioned several irregularities in his constituency Chotta Udepur. He said that in the records of MGNREGA, many of the payments have been made even to minors and to those who are employed in the government sector.

“There was a case of Bodeli in which a man who died four years ago was disbursed payment. Likewise, a primary school teacher Malsinh Rathawa was given Rs 1,120 under the scheme. Ashwin Rathwa who is working in GEB was also paid Rs 1,120. Such are the incidents of the ghost beneficiaries of the scheme,” he told the house.

The senior most MLA in the state assembly said that there are many job cards issued to individuals who are even government employees. “The height of the scam is that even 13-year-old and 15-year-old kids have been shown as the beneficiaries and payment of Rs 1,120 have been deposited to their accounts. The corruption level doesn’t end here, payment of Rs 19 lakh was made for lake desilting in Kohari village, where there was no work. Similarly, in Chundeli village of Bodeli block, Sarpanch himself has a job card. Moreover, paver blocks were laid in an imaginary pocket,” said the legislator.

In reply, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Transport RC Faldu acknowledged the accusations and irregularities. “We have found some irregularities in the payment and actions have been taken in 2020. Some of the employees were terminated,” Faldu said on the floor of the house.