A CAG report regarding social audit in the rural job flagship scheme MGNREGA has found a number of loopholes including non-setting up of social audit units in eight states and shortage of resource persons to carry out the same in 14 other states.
The report of the CAG on MGNREGA Schemes Rules 2011, which was tabled in Lok Sabha today, covered 1140 Gram Panchayats in 25 states, where social audits were conducted during 2014-15.
The audit covered social audit units and evaluation of Social Audits conducted by the states during 2014-15.
It found that social audit Units were not set up in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala and Uttarakhand while in Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Maharashra, Nagaland, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal, they were functioning as a cell within the department of rural development of state governments.
As per the rules social audit Unit has to be an independent organisation, which has to facilitate conduct of the audit by Gram Sabha with the help and support of resource persons identified by state social audit unit at district and village levels.
The CAG, however, found out that though societies have been set up in Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram as social audit units, they are headed by departmental officers.
“Shortage of resource persons to support and carry out social audits was observed. In 14 states where independent social audit units had been established, the shortage of 43 state resource persons (22 per cent), 358 district resource persons (24 per cent) and 1957 block resource persons (57 per cent) were observed. In five states, assessment of village resource persons was not done,” the report said.
The CAG noted that the annual calendar to conduct the social audit was not prepared in majority of states.
“Out of 2,34,594 Gram Panchayats (GPs) to be covered for social audit in 25 states during 2014-15, only 1,20,841 GPs (51 per cent) were covered,” the CAG found.
It also noted that door to door visits to meet beneficiaries and share relevant information with them were not carried out in Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
The audit watchdog also observed instances of non-convening of Gram Sabha meetings and low participation of village community, non-holding of public hearings in a few states, besides Andhra Pradesh and Telangana not constituting state employment guarantee council after 2013.
The CAG recommended that the Rural Development Ministry should impress upon state governments to set up social audit units and ensure availability of adequate trained resource persons at all levels.