Opposition parties on Tuesday criticised the government in the Legislative Assembly for not implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) “properly” in the State.
Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar and Janata Dal (Secular) floor leader H.D. Kumaraswamy took the government to task for not exploiting MNREGA.
During the discussion on budgetary demands for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR), Mr. Shettar criticised the government for not continuing “pro-people programmes” launched by the previous BJP government and accused the Congress government of remaining “apathetic to rural development.” Listing out the welfare schemes launched by the BJP government, including Suvarna Bhoomi, Suvarna Grama and Bhagyalakshmi, he appealed to the government to continue them in public interest.
Mr. Shettar also alleged that the government was not effectively implementing its won programmes, including Anna Bhagya. “The government has failed to distribute below the poverty line (BPL) cards to eligible families,” he said.
Mr. Shettar sought to know how the government would rejuvenate 12,000 tanks and lakes in the State under the MNREGA.
On the target fixed by the government to construct 6 lakh toilets in 2013–14, Mr. Kumaraswamy sought to know the number of toilets constructed with government funding. He recalled the statement of RDPR Minister H.K. Patil on 19 lakh “missing” toilets in the State.
Regretting the non-disbursal of wages to workers under the MNREGA, Mr. Kumaraswamy said some such workers had launched an agitation in Koppal.
He accused the government of not utilising Central funds for MNREGA works. “While Andhra Pradesh issued 144.31 lakh job cards and Tamil Nadu 91.29 lakh, Karnataka issued only 54.64 lakh job cards in 2013–14. Similarly, while Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments utilised Rs. 4,750 crore and Rs. 4,690 crore Central funds respectively, Karnataka could spend only Rs. 1,590 crore,” he said.