Eliminate false beneficiaries for proper implementation of schemes
The creators of modern India dreamed of a model of socialist society with equal rights and opportunities for all its citizens. Under a constitutional mandate, central and state governments have implemented a multitude of plans and programs to build an inclusive society. But many of these well-meaning efforts are misdirected with increasing numbers of bogus beneficiaries. The tendency to get free allowances out of public money should be discouraged and undeserving people should not be allowed access to programs and programs. The public should be sufficiently sensitized to the programs, in particular to the objective of these programs and to the target beneficiaries.
Community organizations of the rural poor should be involved in the process of implementing programs for the poor from the start with a genuine and transparent identification process.
There are media reports of government employees who managed to obtain BPLs and ration cards and identified them as beneficiaries of PMAY.
There are also bogus beneficiaries of caste / tribe certificates who manage to get employment and gain admission to educational institutions under reserved seats for SC, ST and OBC and even run for election for reserved seats. Apart from the usual accusations of corruption, bribery and bureaucratic delays in obtaining rights, the most important are the benefits provided to poor and marginalized rural people such as IAY, NREGS, land distribution, pensions, health care, social security and food security schemes where complaints of bogus beneficiaries enjoying the benefits of the poor and marginalized go unresolved.
The state government received 2,300 complaints of false caste certificates from various sources. The government of Odisha ST and SC Development Department and Home Department have issued model guidelines for investigating the false caste certificate issued by the police.
The cases are mainly found in the districts of Phulbani, Nabarangpur, Balangir, Baragarh and Kalahandi. It is reported by the ST and SC Development Department that the DRC South Division has the highest number of cases compared to the DRC North and Center areas. The state government has formed a state-level review committee for its verification and a district-level vigilance cell to investigate these complaints with legal attorneys to facilitate the process. It is unfortunate that one government department issues a caste certificate and the other department forms a vigilance team to verify the certificates.
Why the process of issuing caste certificates should not ensure transparency. The problems of false caste certificates create social tensions between the different communities which lead to loss of life and property as well as a situation of public order.
As many government projects, programs and policy initiatives are linked to the caste / tribe identity of communities, the false caste certificate is a matter of concern for the state ensuring the identification of the true beneficiaries of the agenda. respective.
Most state-implemented development programs primarily target the rural poor and people from marginalized communities, but for a number of reasons they have a very insignificant role in selecting beneficiaries. The majority of the rural poor are illiterate and unorganized and there has been a large communication gap between the local government and the rural poor.
Despite direct cash transfers to NREGS work card holders, in many areas the district administration has received reports of salary payments to deceased persons. It was reported that there were bogus beneficiaries and that appeal roles were maintained to abuse funds intended for the rural poor under the employment guarantee program.
There are a number of popular programs where central aid is misdirected due to lack of close monitoring. It turns out that people with land and regular government jobs try to exploit the benefits for the poor by manipulating the records through their influence over local government employees and with the support of party agents in the government. to be able to. The beneficiary selection process is one of the important jobs that has been overlooked by government officials. There is minimal transparency in the selection. In a few cases, a link between ruling party workers and local officials leads to the selection of bogus beneficiaries.
Panchyati Raj institutions play a major role in beneficiary selection, but they have failed to ensure a transparent beneficiary selection process. The open discussion arrangements for the selection of beneficiaries in Gram Sabha are very rarely followed in the village. Caste and gender barriers in the village restrict the participation of women and Dalits.
In addition to this, there were structural problems such as caste and untouchability practices, poverty, landlessness, illiteracy and lack of access to credit limiting local employment opportunities. to marginalized communities. Government job creation programs fail to reach job card holders who need work due to inefficient and unengaged local bureaucracy under the hegemonic control of local interest groups associated with ruling parties .
Most rural workers are unorganized and untouched by central unions for political mobilization to increase workers’ bargaining power. The recent trend shows a growing concern on the part of independent rights-based unions. A number of studies have revealed that the majority of the rural poor mostly belong to relatively backward regions.
They are historically marginalized, destitute, illiterate and seasonally employed in the primary sector, such as work related to agriculture, forestry and fishing. The state’s primary sector is in feudal mode of production. With all forms of insecurity, rural producers are still fighting for remunerative prices for their products. In distress, they are mobilized by local entrepreneurs, money lenders and labor agents to mortgage their work cards so that official files can be managed. The minimum wage provided for under government programs such as NREGS is much lower. The minimum wage rate in Odisha is the lowest in the country with an unequal rate for men and women.
The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) in his report on the performance audit of NREGS expressed his concern about the poor implementation of the system in the State.
As a step towards regulating migrant workers, it is suggested that there should be an increase in the minimum wage for rural unskilled workers with equal pay for men and women. The government should provide land to agricultural workers for self-employment as well as social security.