Modi Wants Parliamentary Panel to Probe Corruption in NREGA

New Delhi, Jul 24 (IANS): Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Saturday urged the government to constitute a joint parliamentary panel to look into alleged corruption in the national rural job guarantee scheme.

Addressing a meeting of the National Development Council (NDC), the country's top policy forum, Modi said the mid-term appraisal of the 11th plan has highlighted "corruption, malpractices and misuse" of funds in the UPA government's Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme.

"The government of India should take steps to constitute a joint parliamentary committee to go into the issue of corruption into the (job scheme) instead of indulging in mere rhetoric and vote bank politics," Modi said.

The NDC meeting which is being attended by all chief ministers, members of the Planning Commission and key members of the central cabinet, will deliberate on five areas of concern: agricultural productivity, management of water resources, power generation targets, issues of urbanization and specific problems of tribal development

On the Maoist problem, Modi said there was a lot of discussion within the government on how it should be tackled but there was no clarity on how the Maoists "get money, weapons and other resources and what are their communication networks".

"The strategy should not only be to contain Naxalism but to prevent its spread to other unaffected areas," he said.

The Gujarat chief minister said the Right of Children to Fee and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 had left a huge financial responsibility on state governments and the burden on Gujarat is about Rs.7,000 crore over the next three years.

The Right to Education, he said, should be taken up as a national project by the union government as the state governments won't be in a position to provide such huge finances.

On expected lines, he castigated the government on rising food prices saying that inflation posed great threat to the country's development and could derail the growth process if not tackled effectively.

"There is a lack of vision and strategy to tackle rising prices which reflects the lack of good governance and political will," he said, adding that the overwhelming response to the recent opposition sponsored nationwide shutdown was a reflection of the agony of the people.

He said the midterm appraisal of the planning commission had scaled down the target of growth rate of the country from 9 to 8.1 percent in the wake of the global financial crisis.

However, Gujarat had overcome the effects of the global meltdown with 10.5 growth rate in 2009-10 and "is confident that 11.2 percent for the 11th plan will be achieved", he said.




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Title: Modi Wants Parliamentary Panel to Probe Corruption in NREGA

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