TDP ‘Gains’ From Employment Guarantee Scheme

Representational Image - Sakshi Post

Amaravati: As the days go by new stories are emerging about the financial irregularities in the Government related schemes in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This time reports are pouring in about the alleged money swindling in the Employment Guarantee Scheme promulgated by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government over the past five years.

When the TDP government came into power in 2014, the scheme was implemented in 13 districts in the state. Field Assistants were removed and aides of TDP leaders were appointed in their place. As a result, in some villages where Rs 5 Lakh was given as wages, the government enhanced the amount to Rs 25 Lakh.

In one instance for the year 2012-13 in Yendugumpalem Village at Nadendla Mandal in Guntur district, an amount of Rs 5.75 Lakh was allocated for the employment of daily wageworkers under the scheme. But when the records for the past six years were examined, the amount was only Rs 4.20 Lakh. Once the TDP Government came into power the field assistants were replaced with people who were close to the local TDP minister. In the first year an amount of Rs 12.91 lakh, second year Rs 19.94 Lakh, and in the third year which ended in last March Rs 29.08 Lakhs worth of bill were placed and money was withdrawn from this scheme. However, the number of workers was only 678 and continued to remain the same. What came as shocking was that the number of cards was also drastically increased from 442 to 648.

When a Sakshi Reporter went to investigate the matter, he got to know that the local TDP aide who was working as a field assistant had created fake bills in the names of workers known to him. After the money was deposited in the bank, he made them withdraw the amount, gave them some money, and kept the rest of the amount.

Another aspect that had come to light was the way in which the scheme was implemented, leading to this fraud. In drought-ridden places, the number of workers had drastically decreased due to migration, and in a contrast, there was increase of workers in the Delta districts. Due to which there was a sharp increase in the number of cards. There was also a decrease in the employment of SC ST workers in the past five years. It seemed that the TDP workers were taking advantage of this and were creating fake musters and producing bills in the names of people they knew.

According to a villager from Yendugumpalem , the field assistant there had pocketed more than Rs 10 lakh under this scheme. This apparently has been going on in many villages for the past 5 years, where fake musters were being created by the TDP workers who were pocketing money from this employment benefit scheme.

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