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Nagaland

‘Naga politicians stealing from poor people again in MGNREGA’

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By EMN Updated: Nov 12, 2014 11:59 pm
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ENSF demands vet against ‘VVIP quota’ 

EMN
DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 12

The Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) has raised the widely-perceived corrupt practice of government leaders and officials called the “VVIP quota” in the rural development and employment programme – the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
The ENSF issued a press release on Wednesday stating to have found out about the so-called VVIP quota during a recent tour.
“The federation questions the state government and the concerned department as to what and how VVIP shares came into being that snatched off the poor men’s share at the rural level,” the ENSF release stated. Interestingly, none of the VDBs and VCC had expressed their happiness for such manipulation. The startling discoveries, as the ENSF stated in its statement, are extensive: The VDB secretaries were asked to sign on a blank cheque and sometimes even after signing on the amount, the actual amount or fund is never sanctioned. Taking advantage of the ignorance of the common people, the central guidelines were never implemented. The villagers were deprived from keeping their personal job cards with them and they are unaware of their rights and privileges, it said.
Likewise, the system for ‘demand for job’ was never highlighted to the villagers and it is never practiced. “Surprisingly it was discovered that the fund received from the center at the block level get pounced back to the state directorate after hitting the bank account of the respective stakeholders,” the ENSF stated.
“A duplication of checked and receipt is being prepared systematically and genuinely. The sanctioned report of fund in those blocks does not tally with the developmental activities that exist in reality.”
As per the policy, 10% state share happens to be the contribution of those 60 elected members and not from the state government’s exchequer.
The organization stated: “In return, half of the total fund received from the centre is been set aside as the VVIP share. The federation questions under which act do such VVIP share is being mentioned/authorized/sanctioned? On the contrary, apart from those so called 50% shares which never gets invested in the concern blocks, the fund that reaches the villages is not even 30% of the total fund received from the centre. Investment of 10% state shares do not legitimate anyone from enjoying the lion shares that is meant for the poor populace. Nagaland is a failed state if it could not generate 10% of the total shares.”
The ENSF has expressed strong displeasure at the extortion activities being carried out against every government departments by Naga underground organizations. “As per the report received, taxation is being imposed at the directorate level, taxation upon the elected members, DRDA level, block level, village level and finally the most common house tax from an individual. Such taxation at every level should not be entertained upon the same schemes or fund. In this regard, the federation appeals to all the NPGs to restrain and abstain from such practices. It only encourages for more hoarding in its name, a blame game that ultimately let the poor suffer,” the ENSF stated.

Demands

The ENSF has demanded abolishment of the so-called VVIP quota. “The concept of VVIP shares should not be entertained at the expense of the poor populace. 50% of such shares or the 30% of the total fund received at the villages level should be immediately rectified before the matter gets serious.” The federation has appealed to the eastern VDB association to initiate in reforming the system rather than being a “loyal agent for corruption.” The VDB Association should be an agent of change in reforming the system, the ENSF stated.
The organization has demanded investigation into the whole murky dealings. “Government should conduct investigation at every districts/block for mismanagement of the RD schemes/fund.
A blame game within the government, directorate, DRDA and the block should be immediately rectified. Concerning the statement of the department on equitable share within the blocks in the state and considering the stagnancy or least impact in or within the blocks of Eastern Nagaland, Government should set up Special Investigation Team (SIT) in finding the details and befitting action to be initiated if so required.”
The other demand that the ENSF was for a social audit of the scheme. “The federation also directs all its units to set up RTI cell in their respective areas so as to maintain transparency and accountability and to check manipulation and confusion.
The RTI guide cell shall be attached to all the concern Federating Units at the respective tribal levels,” the statement said.

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By EMN Updated: Nov 12, 2014 11:59:27 pm