Patna, Sept. 14: The Bihar government is out to woo the best brains from the corporate world for implementing schemes under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act (MNREGA). The advertisement for hiring 32 professionals through Bihar Rural Development Society (BRDS) has been published at national-level.
The monthly salary of the selected candidates would vary between Rs 25,000 and Rs 2 lakh, depending on their posts. Besides, the appointees would be given several other benefits at par with the corporate world.
One of the main objectives of BRDS, constituted by the state government in 2010, is to play the role of the nodal agency for implementation of MNREGA in Bihar. BRDS functions under the rural development department.
The salaries of these professionals would be given from the MNREGA fund, as six per cent of the money given by the Centre can be spent as the administrative cost of the project.
“If there is any shortfall of fund in meeting the salary requirement of the hired professionals, the money would be provided by the state,” rural development minister Nitish Mishra told The Telegraph.
Giving reasons for offering salaries much more than that of many senior bureaucrats to professionals, the minister said: “We stand for hiring the best brains and one needs to offer handsome salaries for roping in services of such people.”
While hiring these professionals, the state government has also an eye on the Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS), which would be implemented for schemes to be taken up under MNREGA from November this year. It would allow both the state headquarters and the Centre to have online information about utilisation of funds sent for the schemes. The services of professionals would help in meeting the CPSMS norms.
The state government also stands for capacity building of personnel deputed in field for implementing the schemes under MNREGA because it is a demand driven scheme with central allocation coming to states in accordance with their absorption capacity. The services of hired professionals would be taken for this purpose too, as more efficient machinery in the field would help in generating more demand of funds.
Bihar improved upon its past performance as far as generating demand for MNREGA funds is concerned, but the state with around 1.4 crore below poverty line families drew much less money than some of the states of comparable size under MNREGA.
The state got about Rs 1,800 crore under MNREGA in 2009-10. The figure went up to around Rs 2,600 crore in 2010-11. The state is expected to create a demand of about Rs 3,500 crore this fiscal (2011-12). The figure, however, appears quite small when one takes into account the fact that Rajasthan has generated a demand of over Rs 8,000 crore under MNREGA.
Capacity building apart, the hired professionals would also be used in developing tools for better and effective monitoring of schemes being taken up using the MNREGA fund.
The rural development department also has a plan in pipeline which talks of roping in services of qualified professionals for supervision and monitoring of Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the achievement of which has not been up to the desirable level (about 50 per cent).
“During his recent visit to the state, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said the Centre was planning to provide additional fund to states for meeting the administrative cost of implementation of IAY from the next fiscal (2012-13), as has been suggested by a task force. We plan to use this fund to rope in the services of professionals for the implementation of IAY in the state,” Mishra said.