Contractors in several village Panchayats in Kerala were alleged witnessed performing illegal hiring in the state. They were caught employing interstate migrants to carry out works instead of those enrolled in the scheme in alleged cases of misappropriation of funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
When reached, Kerala Social Audit Society Director N Ramakantan stated that the organisation is providing feedback and submitting a report to the state government on the matter, as reported by The Indian Express.
Admitted The Illegal Hiring
MGNREGS admitted that illegal hiring is rampant in Kerala and that they have come across the illegal trend. They said, "The delay in getting the funds for the materials from the Centre is also another reason behind the illegal activities. When there is a delay in getting funds for materials, local bodies give the civil works to the contractors, who can normally afford delays in payments. These contractors are hiring migrant workers to execute the works," the publication reported.
Panchayat Work Layout On Employment
According to the rules, panchayat officers prepare estimates for civil works, hire a vendor to provide building supplies, and compile a muster roll of the employees deployed — unskilled, semi-skilled, and expert.
The distributors are then paid for the equipped supplies, and the employees are paid based on the number of days worked.
No Action Taken
According to Social Audit Unit field officials, no action has been taken to stop the illegal practices, as the racket allegedly involves local politicians, contractors, and MGNREGA officials at panchayats, as reported by the media.
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