Govt to create biometric database of NREGA workers: PM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 02, 2011

The Government plans to create a biometric data base of all workers covered under its flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) scheme and use it to authenticate work applications, work-site attendance and wage payments.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, announced this on Wednesday at a function held here to mark five years of the launch of the job guarantee scheme.

“We hope it will substantially reduce instances of discrimination in work allocation, delayed payments and bogus muster rolls,” he said at the event.

The Prime Minister also expressed concern over problems in implementation of NREGA in Naxal-affected areas. He said the Government will establish a technical unit, comprising a panchayat development officer and a junior engineer, in each gram panchayat.

“Priority is being given to Left-wing extremism affected districts, and districts where the annual NREGA expenditure is above Rs 100 crore,” Dr Singh said.

He also took note of reports of harassment and intimidation of social auditors. Authorities should take strict action in such cases. Comprehensive rules to strengthen the social audit process by the gram sabha are being formulated,” Dr Singh said.

The Prime Minister maintained that NREGA had generated 880 crore person days of work since its inception.

“Fifty-two per cent of the work has been done by those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and 47 per cent by women,” he said. Dr Singh also noted that wages under NREGA were now being disbursed through more than 10 crore bank and post office accounts.

Published on February 02, 2011

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