Learn from Andhra on job scheme, Ramesh tells Orissa

August 14th, 2011 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Aug 14 (IANS) Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh Sunday told Orissa to learn from Andhra Pradesh on the implementation of a centrally sponsored rural job scheme.

He said Andhra Pradesh is implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in a most transparent manner by using an online Management Information System (MIS).

“I requested the chief minister to learn from Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the matter of NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act),” Ramesh told reporters here after meeting Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the state secretariat.

Responding to queries, Ramesh said he will not compromise on the issue of accountability and transparency. “I told the chief minister that we must ensure maximum transparency and accountability in all our rural development programmes,” he said.

During his three-day visit to the state which concluded Sunday, Ramesh said there is a need to use rural development programmes to win the trust and confidence of people, especially in Maoist-affected areas.

“We have to use rural development to win the trust and confidence of the people. We cannot fight Naxalism only through paramilitary or police force.”

“The paramilitary forces and police play a very important role but simultaneously…we must use rural development to win the trust of people, particularity of tribal community,” he said.

It was Ramesh’s first visit to the state after he took charge of the rural development ministry earlier this month.

His visit came at a time when there have been allegations of rampant corruption and irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGs in the state.

During his tour, the minister reviewed implementation of various schemes in seven Maoist-affected districts. He also visited the communally sensitive district of Kandhamal.

Responding to a question on the alleged neglect of the state by the central government, Ramesh said: “That allegation I am completely, comprehensively denying… Orissa gets about Rs.6,000 crore in a year (under MGNREG scheme) and if more money is required…we will find more money.”

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