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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 20 April 2024 7.19 AM IST

Political hatchet job to keep MGNREGA ombudsman position vacant

ombudsman-kerala-employme

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The re-appointment and retention of the Employment Guarantee Mission ombudsman has been stalled after irregularities turned common in the Employment Guarantee Scheme. The involvement of local politicians in the scam is strongly rumoured and it is doubted that the same unscrupulous politicians are behind stalling the appointment of an ombudsman.

After evaluating the work of the ombudsman who has completed two years, the term can be extended for two years or a new ombudsman should be appointed. However, the selection committee haven’t yet joined and the norms are flouted by keeping the ombudsman seat vacant.

On November 5, the government issued an order to extend the tenure of nine district employment ombudsman in the state, for three months or until performance evaluation. However, no such action happened.

With this, the term of nine ombudsmans will end on February 4. The ombudsman of Kannur, Kasaragod, Wayanad and Palakkad districts will have their tenure up to May. Kottayam ombudsman resigned 11 months ago due to health problems but no action was taken to fill the void. This is happening at a time when the central government has repeatedly warned not to keep the ombudsman post vacant.

The selection committee consists of a representative from the Union Ministry of Rural Development, a prominent person from the civil society nominated by the Central Government and the Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary of the State Government.

Although the ombudsman was appointed for the first time in the state in 2012, all 10 of them were dismissed in 2014 without evaluating their performance.

Frauds caught in the meantime in MGNREGA:

  • Fraud by contract workers and panchayat administrators

  • Denial of work due to party politics

  • Extortion of wages from eligible workers

  • Transfer of money to the required account showing that work has been done
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TAGS: MGNREGA, POLITICS, OMBUDSMAN, VACANT, EMPLOYMENT, MINISTRY
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