Karnataka has witnessed sharp fall in households demanding employment under MNREGA scheme, according to CAG, which found that works were driven by cost rather than the need to create durable assets.
The number of households demanding employment declined from 36.26 lakh in 2009-10 to 16.64 lakh in 2011-12, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on performance audit of the scheme, tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday, said.
During the same period, the persondays generated declined from 20.04 crore to 7.00 crore, according to CAG, which covered the period from April 2007 to March 2012.
Implementation of the scheme was checked in 157 Gram Panchayats in eight districts of the state, it said.
The share of STs declined from 19 per cent to eight per cent and that of SCs from 30 per cent to 16 per cent during the period from 2007-08 to 2011-12.
While the number of works taken up under the scheme increased year after year (with the exception of 2010-11), the number of works completed declined by 63 per cent in 2011-12, with reference to the previous year adn stood at 14 per cent of the total works undertaken in 2011-12.
"Evidently the focus was on taking up more works rather than completing works already taken up," the report said.
An analysis of the Management Information System (MIS) data sets of 30 districts showed that 3.49 lakh job cards and 8.23 lakh individuals had been permanently deleted during 2008-12 on grounds of wrong entries.
However, as per the data available in the MIS, wages aggregating Rs 22.48 crore had been disbursed in respect of permanently deleted job cards and Rs 2.90 crore in respect of deleted individuals till the date of deletion.
CAG found that district perspective plans were not prepared and the annual plans prepared by gram panchayats were driven by the cost of works than need to create durable assets.
The state employment guarantee council, governing council and executive council constituted to oversee implementation of the scheme did not meet regularly, while the technical support group at all the levels was not appointed.
There were irregularities in issue of job cards, payment of wages and failure to provide 100 days of employment to all the registered households.
CAG said there is a need to evolve an effective system of tracking fund movements between the MGNREGS State Employment Guarantee Fund and Panchayat Raj institutions, and reconciliation should be carried out periodically.
"Surveys should be conducted periodically to identify the beneficiaries and encourage unskilled labourers to register themselves and avail of the scheme benefits," the CAG said in its recommendations.