People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXV

No. 27

July 03, 2011

 

 

JAMMU & KASHMIR

 

Fighting for End to Corruption in NREGA

 

ON June 28, the CPI(M)ís Jammu & Kashmir state secretary M Y Tarigami kick-started at Kulgam a struggle against the menace of corruption in government programmes meant for the poor. Corruption, he said, has afflicted every sphere of the politico-administrative set-up in the state of Jammu & Kashmir as well. In fact, corruption has been so much institutionalised that it has started gaining legitimacy, with opportunist officials enjoying patronage of the high-ups --- to the detriment of the poor and the underprivileged.

 

Coming down heavily on the central and state governments for poor implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), the CPI(M) legislator regretted that delay in the execution of the flagship programme in this fiscal year has hit the poor hard. Can we forget that the programme is aimed at providing livelihood security to the poor? But they, he said, were not able to get the assured wages due to non-starting of works despite the elapse of half a year.  

 

Tarigami alleged that in violation of its provisions, the NREGA has been hijacked by contractors, which has led to irregularities of unforeseen kinds. He added that the unholy nexus developed between some rural development officials and contractors has to be broken in right earnest in order to salvage the poor.

 

The CPI(M) leader asked the central and state governments to wake up to the need of bringing total transparency in the NREGA, lest the people are forced to wage massive struggles to secure justice for themselves.

 

Earlier, thousands of CPI(M) activists took to streets, demanding fair and transparent implementation of the NREGA and easy availability of ration. They also held a protest demonstration in front of the DC office to press for their legitimate rights.

 

Addressing the rally, senior CPI(M) leaders like Ghulam Nabi Malik, Mohd Yaqoob and Mohd Afzal Parry urged the government to bring to book those involved in corruption at different levels of the administration and punish them under law. They also demanded strengthening the institutions like the accountability commission, vigilance organisation etc, and making them effective and transparent.

 

A resolution adopted in the rally demanded the total rollback of the recent hike in fuel prices and effective measures for making the public distribution system universal, thereby providing at cheaper rates ration of foodgrains to all those who are not enrolled under the BPL category.