BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has pulled up the State Government for a large number of incomplete projects under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the flagship wage employment programme.
The State Government has taken up about 5.41 lakh works (including spill over works) under the Centrally sponsored scheme in 2015-16. The total number of completed works by the end of March was 1,16,922 which is 21.61 per cent.
However, the State could complete 9.54 per cent of the new projects taken up in the last fiscal.
While 4.24 lakh works were under execution by the end of March, 2016, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has asked the State Government to complete 2.26 lakh spilled over works of 2014-15 by May, 2016 without fail.
A review of the State Rural Development Plan including the labour budget of Odisha for 2016-17 by the empowered committee of MoRD revealed that nearly 33 per cent of the works taken up since 2005-06 have remained incomplete till March 31, 2015.
The MoRD empowered committee has asked the State Government to examine the reasons for poor rate of completion of works and take corrective measures for timely completion of projects. Durable assets are being created under the scheme for sustainable development of the rural poor.
The Centrally sponsored MGNREGA scheme is meant for the poor and aims at providing livelihood security to people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to a rural household.
The Ministry has advised the State Government to give more emphasis on creation of individual assets by way of improving the productivity of land, development of fallow and waste land, construction of houses and promotion of livestock.
The State Government has been asked to scale up public works on natural resources management in the current financial year with a focus on water conservation and water harvesting, irrigation, restoration of water bodies and afforestation.
The State Government had provided jobs to 31.2 lakh individuals of 1.78 crore registered job card holders in 2015-16. The number of active workers in the State is about 37.48 lakh.