NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to bypass states and directly fund the social
units under the
, a first of its kind move aimed at securing an independent view on the implementation of its flagship rural employment guarantee scheme.
All states except
and Jammu & Kashmir—where there is a BJP government or where the party is part of the ruling coalition— have set up social audit units.
"The social audit has to be done independent of the implementing authority. It goes beyond financial audit and brings greater transparency to the scheme," a senior government official said.
The rural development ministry has also informed the Supreme Court that the above mentioned states have not complied with the social audit requirements.
So far, Rs 118 crore has been released by the ministry to 24 states and union territories which have set up these centres and got the required personnel on board.
The Centre is also taking up the matter of social audit with the chief secretaries of the five states, which are yet to comply and put systems for proper evaluation and monitoring of the scheme.
Social audit is mandatory under the
National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA). It involves a review of all official records of expenditure and an assessment of whether the states have reported all transactions correctly.
It is then followed by a public hearing where all findings are shared by the gram sabha.