Bengal: Govt Cancels Over 14 Lakh Fake job Cards for 100 Days Work, Crackdown on
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Flickr
A swarm of fake cards has rampaged the MGNREGA project or 100 days of work in West Bengal. More than 1 million counterfeit job cards have been caught in West Bengal in the last year, and all of them have been cancelled. The nodal division in charge of the 100-day project under the state’s Panchayat and Rural Development Department revealed the information on Thursday.
"The exact statistics of the total number of fake job cards cancelled in the state up until today (February 23, 2022) is 14 lakh, 17 thousand, and 557," according to the concerned department. This is an ongoing process, and by March 31, 2023, the figure is expected to cross 15 lakhs.
For the past four months, the state's Panchayat and Rural Development Offices have reportedly been conducting a special operation to identify and cancel the fake job cards.
An official said, 'This campaign has really been very effective. And the number of cancelled cards has also increased. In addition to the detection and cancellation of fake job cards, the office has continued the process of issuing new job cards. Approximately 2 lakh new job cards were issued to various families during the same period.
At the same time, he said, those who got the new job card have been appointed to link job cards and bank accounts with their Aadhaar cards. So, the earnings from the 100-day work can be deposited directly into the person's bank account. The central government has made it compulsory to link Aadhaar.
Recently, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed anger against the Centre while addressing an administrative meeting in West Midnapore. She said, “The central government wants to introduce a complete online system in the lives of rural people. But how can a marginal population get used to it? So, their lives are becoming difficult.”
Banerjee further said, "To pay the 100-day work project under MGNREGA, the Centre has made it compulsory to link Aadhaar cards with bank accounts. But does the central government know what people do in the state where there is not a single bank branch in several rural blocks?”
Due to the lack of money, various rural activities were stopped, but the interest in collecting job cards did not decline. After the issue of more than 2.5 lakh new job cards, the situation is clearer, according to the claims of the administrative department. Generally, the process of cancelling job cards may continue throughout the year.
However, the Panchayat Department placed special emphasis on the work of weeding out fake cards four months ago. As a result, in the current fiscal year, 14,17,557 job cards have been cancelled across the state. There were 63,07,289 people under the scheme.
The job card is issued in the name of the head of the family or a senior member. It is possible for all family members to obtain employment through this card. In many cases, there have been multiple job cards in a family. Many people did not work for a long time despite having a card; those 'inactive' cards are also being cancelled.
State Panchayat Minister Pradeep Majumder said, “Whatever we could do, we have done everything. Nonetheless, the Centre is looking for any reason to stop the money.”
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