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Survey glare on rural job scheme

Patna, Dec. 6: Villagers in the state are yet to get over the stumbling blocks related to smooth implementation of the 100-day job scheme but public services reforms have started showing results.

The “Citizen Report Card on Public Services in Rural Bihar (2012)”, a survey conducted by AC Nielson (India) and designed and managed by Public Affairs Foundation, Bangalore, has found that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) beneficiaries have to grease the palms of officials concerned both to get work and receive payment. In addition, about 30 per cent of the beneficiaries do not get job under the scheme in spite of their desire for the same.

The report — released by the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) India head Sam Shapre here today — was prepared on the basis of a survey done between April 18 and September 15 covering all the districts.

It revealed that about 8 per cent of the MGNREGA beneficiaries had to pay bribe/extra money to officials concerned to get work under the scheme while 10 per cent of them complained of going for the unfair means to get payment. An average wage received by the beneficiary was Rs 126 for men and Rs 117 for women.

The Bihar government is already under severe attack of the Opposition for alleged gross financial irregularities in implementation of the central scheme.

The survey, however, found the services in health, PDS, government primary and middle school, ICDS and issuance of certificates under the Right to Public Service Act most satisfactory.