Public Discourse on MGNREGS

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At the outset I am deeply overwhelmed and grateful to the Kuda Village Council, Dimapur for their unstinted full support and clarifying to the public about the issue of corruption raised by the NPF Press Bureau which had been widely reported in all State newspapers on 13th April 2018. As a Government servant it is my bounden duty to reply to the allegations leveled against me which had been given a personalized color & tone.
1. The MGNREGS is implemented under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 notified on 7th September 2005.
2. The claim of the NPF that it had ensured release of the fund is totally misleading and incorrect. The releases of fund to this flag ship scheme is based on the Labour Budget approved by the Empowered Committee of the Rural Development Ministry , GOI. Fund is released to the State on basis of its performance certificates in installments of Tranches which include financial and physical progress. The sanction may have been released during the Government tenure under NPF ; but by no stretch of imagination can the party claim that it ensured the releases, as the labour demand for the financial year for all the 74 blocks is already predetermined on the principle of ” Labour Demand uploaded in the MIS” of the Rural Development Ministry site GOI.
3. The NPF Press Bureau had questioned the delegation of financial power of the Principal Secretary , RD Department in allocation of fund to DRDAs and the villages.
a. The Principal Secretary or Secretary concerned of the Rural Development Department also functions as the Commissioner of the scheme under the Sub Section 1 of Section 21 of the MGNREGS Act which provide for establishment of the State Employment Guarantee Scheme Fund ( SEGF) which is referred to as the State Fund for the purpose of implementation of the Scheme. The powers conferred therein under clause (e) sub-section (2) of Section 32 of MGNREGA 2005 provide rules to manage the receipt of fund, transfer and utilization of financial resources under the Act through the SEGF. The Act empowers the Commissioner of the Scheme for the above mentioned activities. In pursuant to the powers, no fund can be released without the prior express approval of the Commissioner, who is the Principal Secretary, RD Department in the instant case. These include sanction of fund with administrative approval of the works released to all the DRDAs/ Blocks/VDBs.
b. The Operational guidelines of 2013 from the Rural Development Ministry at Para 12.4 – Online submission of proposals for release of funds, 1st Tranche ( page 101) clearly stipulate that – ” After receipt of Central Share Fund, the State Fund would be transferred to DRDAs and VBDs based on assessment of requirement & availability of fund with districts.” The State is yet have migrate into the Electronic Fund Management System (eFMS) platform, so skeletal online transfer through Banks is effected presently to the DRDAs. Conversion to full Electronic Fund Management System (eFMS) environment is on pipeline which will bring more transparency & accountability in implementation of MGNREGS.
4. The NPF Press Bureau, made personalized allegations against me which could have been discussed over the table to let me also explain my side of story; but our society today seem to have developed an unhealthy trend of blame games and insinuations through the press & media for which no amount of clarifications and reactions contrary to them made afterwards will convince the gullible public again. I have taken over the Rural Development Department barely a while ago in the 1st week of April 2018.
5. The NPF Press Bureau had painted me as nepotistic – “which in literal dictionary meaning would translate to employing/appointing relatives to high offices” – favoritism which in a sense would mean favoring my village with extra fund on basis of more demand of work under MGNREGS which the Kuda Village Council had appropriately explained away in the support press release and the powers conferred explained above as the Principal Secretary/ Commissioner of MGREGS and; corrupt practice which also had been explained in the Village press release.
6. On a positive note, I want to thank the NPF Press Bureau for raising the issue of functioning of the Rural Department in all its programs & schemes. There is a serious need to bring about accountability & transparency in the department which the NPF well know what I am referring to. The Department is willing & committed to bringing about change , and therefore, solicit support & cooperation from all right thinking people as the MGNREGS bring about positive changes in the rural landscape of the State if the scheme is implemented earnestly on its objectives.
7. However, as an individual, through this press release I want to request the NPF Press Bureau to produce proof/documentary evidences that specifically; as the Principal Secretary of RD Department, I have taken money from RD Department for myself ( even to a single paise) , issued CGI sheet, misused any RD Department vehicles, office stationaries or taken any facilities of travel expenses in my tours to Delhi for official works of the RD Department; failing which I shall be constrained to take up any recourse – traditional/customary/legal to clear my name to the people of Nagaland.
I would strongly urge the NPF Press Bureau if you so desire you can personally come and clear up the issue raised.
My contact details are given below:
1. Official name : Lhoubeilatuo Kire, s/o Late Khriehulie Kire
2. Designation : Principal Secretary, Rural Development Department, Nagaland.
3. Home Address :
a. House No -956, Lane -17, K. Kire colony, C Khel, Kuda village, Dimapur
b. House No -03 D Khel – K, Seikhazou, Oriental College road, Ruziezou colony, Kohima village
4. Mobile No – 977401187
My conscience is clear that I have performed my duties within the existing norms of office procedures laid down. The public is well aware of the quality of all implementations of the MGNREGS with regard to omissions /commissions under the NPF Government in the last 3 years.
Sd/-
Lhoubeilatuo Kire
Principal Secretary,
Rural Development
Department, Nagaland.

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