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1 done, 28 left...
Andhra leads. Will others follow?
02/10/2008

The long pending vision of ‘social-audits’ finally materialised in the country with Andhra Pradesh allowing regular ‘social audits’ (during June 2007) in order to infuse transparency and accountability into the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). Approximately 30,000 trained village youths were involved in this social audit that covered more than 12 million people. The audit resulted in recovery of misappropriated funds to the tune of Rs.12.5 million! Post the social audit, all stages of NREGA – from registration of workers to issue of job cards, preparation of work estimates, muster rolls and payments to workers – have been computerised. Moreover, with the social audit taking place, all delays and corruption in payments of fair wages to the labour class. Today, labour payments in Andhra Pradesh are being made within a week since closure of the previous week’s work. The cash is sent to the post office so that workers are able to automatically receive their wages through their accounts. So what’s there to learn from this innovative initiative undertaken by the Andhra government? Of course, it should be replicated by other states all over the country as well, and across all flagship programmes. Clearly, processes evolving out of such audits help make living easier for the rural masses.

By:- B&E
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