Karnataka excels in social audit coverage of both districts & GPs under MGNREGA in 2017-18
One of the salient features of the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005) is that there are provisions in it to ensure transparency and accountability. Section 17(2) of the MGNREGA says that the gram sabha shall conduct regular social audits of all the projects under the scheme taken up within the gram panchayat (GP). In addition to that, Section 17(3) of the MGNREGA states that the GP shall make available all relevant documents including the muster rolls, bills, vouchers, measurement books, copies of sanction orders and other connected books of account and papers to the gram sabha for the purpose of conducting the social audit.
The MIS (Management Information System) data provided by the official MGNREGA website www.nrega.nic.in reveals that almost three-fourth of the total 687 districts (viz. almost 74 percent) started social audit for MGNREGA in 2017-18. On the contrary, a little less than one-fifth of 2.62 lakh GPs (viz. nearly 18 percent) were covered under social audit last year. Please refer to the table-A below as well as table-1.
A careful look at table-A above would show that among all the states/ Union Territories (UTs), in Karnataka the social audit coverage of districts as well as GPs under MGNREGA was the best in 2017-18 viz. 97 percent and 98 percent, respectively.
Although in the states of Mizoram, Odisha, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh there was 100 percent social audit coverage of districts under MGNREGA, the social audit coverage of GPs for these states stood at 26 percent, 41 percent, 73 percent, 59 percent and 1 percent, respectively. The MIS data indicates that in case of Andhra Pradesh there was a 99-percentage points gap between social audit coverage of districts and GPs under MGNREGA in 2017-18, whereas in case of Karnataka there was a 1-percentage point gap. Please refer to the table-A above.
If Puducherry, Goa, Lakshadweep, Arunachal Pradesh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu are excluded from the analysis, then it could be observed that in the Left-ruled state of Kerala, social audit coverage of districts was a mere 7 percent (viz. just 1 out of 14 districts) and there had been no social audit coverage of GPs under MGNREGA in 2017-18. However, in Tripura -- a former Left-ruled state, the social audit coverage of districts was 62 percent and the social audit coverage of GPs stood at just 10 percent.
Problem with MIS data on number of social audits
There is some inconsistency between the MIS data on the number of districts in a state/ UT where social audit started and the total number of social audit started in that state/ UT. For example, although in only one district of Andaman & Nicobar Islands (also in one GP) social audit started, the MIS data shows that the total number of social audit started in that UT in 2017-18 was zero. Similarly, social audit under MGNREGA started in 62 districts of Uttar Pradesh (also in 2,241 GPs). But MIS data shows that the total number of social audits started in UP last year was zero. Such inconsistency was also noted for Kerala, Manipur and Nagaland. Please refer to table-1 for details.
Table 1: Status of social audit in states/ UTs in 2017-18
Source: MIS data on Social Audit in 2017-18, please click here to access
For the country as a whole, although the number of social audits that started in 2017-18 was 19,414, only 13,893 (viz. 71.6 percent) of them could get completed. The MIS data indicates that the proportion of completed social audits was the highest in Telangana (100 percent), followed by Karnataka (93.34 percent) and Gujarat (92.2 percent).
Entirely incomplete social audits under MGNREGA in 2017-18 were found in the states of Tripura, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.
Status of complaints under MGNREGA
The MIS data from the MGNREGA official website shows that the total number of complaints related to MGNREGA at the national level, which was lodged from various sources [including citizens, workers, GPs, Programme Officers (POs), District Programme Coordinators (DPCs), Non-Government Organisation (NGO), Very Important Person (VIP), media, implementing agency, states, Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), social audit, engineers, banks and post offices] was 23,592, as on 11th May, 2018. Kindly check table-2.
Table 2: Status of complaints under MGNREGA as on 11th May 2018
Source: MIS data on complaints and grievances as on 11th May, 2018, please click here to access
As against the above-mentioned figure on complaints filed, the total number of complaints lodged against various authorities/ officials at the national-level was 24,018, as on 11th May, 2018.
Most complaints at the national level were lodged by workers (15,850 viz. 67.2 percent), followed by citizens (5,717 viz. 24.2 percent) and states (537 viz. 2.3 percent), as on 11th May, 2018. Similarly, most complaints at the national level were lodged against GPs (20,482 viz. 85.3 percent), followed by POs (913 viz. 3.8 percent) and block panchayats (910 viz. 3.8 percent). The highest number of complaints pending were with states (13,058), followed by DPCs (645) and the Centre (421), as on 11th May, 2018.
At the national level the total number of pending complaints was 13,071 and the total number of disposed complaints was 8,646, as on 11th May, 2018.
Out of the total 8,646 disposed cases of complaints, most got disposed in Karnataka (2,490 viz. 28.8 percent), followed by Rajasthan (1,740 viz. 20.1 percent) and Maharashtra (1,518 viz. 17.6 percent), as on 11th May, 2018.
Likewise, out of the total 13,071 pending cases of complaints, most were pending in Uttar Pradesh (5,702 viz. 43.6 percent), followed by Madhya Pradesh (1,761 viz. 13.5 percent) and Bihar (1,637 viz. 12.5 percent), as on 11th May, 2018.
Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005), http://nrega.nic.in/rajaswa.pdf
MIS data on Social Audit in 2017-18, please click here to access
MIS data on complaints and grievances as on 11th May, 2018, please click here to access
Social audit of MGNREGA conducted in one-third of districts, News alert by Inclusive Media for Change dated 26th March, 2016, please click here to access
Image Courtesy: Inclusive Media for Change/ Shambhu Ghatak