Sonia Gandhi23 April 2013. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), a flagship project of the UPA government, aims to provide at least hundred days of paid employment in a financial year to rural households whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.  The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has released a report on Tuesday stating that there were a number of deficiencies in the way MNREGA handled finances.  MNREGA comes under the Union Ministry of Rural Development. The report noted that the Union Ministry of Rural Development had released approximately US$350 million in March 2011 in complete violation of financial accountability norms.  During the period from 2008 to 2012 the Ministry released at U.S. dollars 751 million to States for use in the subsequent financial year, which is in violation of budgetary provisions and General Financial Rules.  The report added that $ 438 million was released to six states either due to wrong calculation or without taking into consideration the balances available with the States.

The report claimed that 12,455 job cards were not issued to households in six States.  Photographs were not pasted on 433,000 job cards in seven States and there were multiple job cards in the name of the same person in 18,325 cases.  The report also noted that unemployment allowance was not paid to 47,687 persons despite substantial delays is in providing employment.  Some Block Development Officers had issued cheques in their own names.  The report highlighted that the household employment declined from 54 days to 48 in the past two years.  Substantial decline in the proportion of works completed was also noted by the CAG.