Bihar sacks 251 rural job scheme officials for graft

Patna, Dec 31: The Bihar government has sacked 251 officials for corruption in the rural job guarantee scheme, Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra said Monday.

“After a probe, 251 officials working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) have been sacked,” he said.

“The government has also lodged FIRs (first information reports) against 288 officials for irregularities in the implementation of the scheme,” Mishra added.

The state government began a probe into the allegations of corruption in the MGNREGS after a performance audit report by an NGO.

The Delhi-based Centre for Environment and Food Security said the performance audit of the MGNREGS in Bihar found that 73 percent of the Rs.8,189 crore scheme fund, spent in the state’s 38 districts in six years (2006-12), were embezzled by the implementing authorities.

“We are committed to make the implementation of the scheme more transparent to check corruption,” the minister said, adding that strict action will be taken against guilty officials.

The MNREGS aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

IANS