Social Audit is conducted twice a year. The social audit calendar is posted on the web.
Odisha Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency (OSSAAT), an independent direcorate has been set up for MGNREGA for social audit.
With the help of DFID, the Odisha Modernizing Economy, Governance and Administation (OMEGA) project has been launched as a pilot in 6 districts. 2 GPs of 1 block in each district have been selected for these pilots. One of the objectives of OMEGA is Social Audit.
She requested Dr Shah to help with the administrative contingencies to run OSSAAT. Wage list and Pay slips are generated through E musters. EFMS is being implemented to shorten the turn around time required for wage processing and payments. It will also lead to reduction of work load at different levels of implementing agencies. It will eliminate idle parking of fund at various levels. It is also implemented so as to credit accounts of MGNREGA workers seamlessly. It is meant to foster electronics governance at the grassroots level. She also said that 80 to 90 percent new PRI members were trained at the State Institute of Rural Development. MGNREGA is one of the basic modules incorporated in this training. Also, training for PRIs is being carried out trainings in partnership with NGOs. 65,000 hectares of plantation in the last 3 months has been done in convergence with soil conservation department, horticulture department, department of forest and environment and Odisha Tribal Livelihoods Project (OTLP). Ms. Chitra Arumugam also said that there will be exceptions made in special cases to provide more than 100 days of employment wherever required. We are also making interventions for prevention of migration in Bolangir district.
The meeting started with following presentations:
1. Status of MGNREGA implementation presented by government of Odisha
2. Sustainable livelihoods and MGNREGA presented by WONC partners
3. Landscape planning for energizing MGNREGA by FES Bhubaneswar
4. Ensuring Accountablility in MGNREGA by CYSD, SEWAK, PRAKALPA and WOSCA
5. Screening of the documentary film titled “The Road Back Home” made by Samaj Pragati Sahayog, Bagli, MP.
The workshop focused on different issues in the implementation of MGNREGA in Odisha and possible measures to address the same in the following manner:
- MGNREGS planning approach needs to have the orientation of area saturation planning with clear consideration of factors like land use, land cover, common lands, geohydrology, topography, bio-cultural resource interaction groups, and development of other livelihoods supporting/promoting infrastructures.
- The successful field models of landscape planning, integrated natural resource management and special area planning like areas facing distress migration, areas affected by left wing extremism requires government patronage.
- The fourth tier of the PRI system i.e. Palli sabha may be empowered legally with appropriate amendments in Odisha Panchayati Raj Act 1964 to function as the planning and implementation body. The work order needs to be issued jointly in the name of individual beneficiary and Palli sabha/village level institutions.
- The Cluster Facilitation Team as suggested in the proposed MGNREGS reformed guideline needs to be brought in place in the quickest possible time to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness in planning and accomplishment of MGNREGS works.
- Payment related problems needs to be addressed on a priority with measures like expansion of banking facilities/core banking where the banking penetration level is low, enhancing cash flow limits in post offices, dedicated bank counters/payment days for MGNREGS workers, greater use of banking correspondence models.
- The lessons from successful initiatives like job seekers’ committees as complementary institutional forms to strengthen Panchayat functions may be mainstreamed in the implementation process of MGNREGS.
- The work on streamlining institutional mechanisms for social audit and accountability at different levels (gram panchayat, panchayat samiti, district and state) needs to be expedited. Wherever CSOs are entrusted with responsibilities for social audit, mechanisms like vesting powers of uploading the findings in the MIS should be with the participating CSOs.
- A comprehensive framework of involvement of CSOs in planning, implementation and monitoring of MGNREGS must be prepared and appropriate government orders may be issued to this effect. The state may make adequate financial provisions for costs of services by the CSOs.
Then the documentary film titled “The Road Back Home”, a beautiful shot and hard-hitting survey of how MGNREGA the flagship program of Government of India became a ray of hope for the poor migrants of Western Odisha was released by Dr. Mihir Shah and screened .
Finally the workshop came to an end with the vote of thanks given by Mr. Pramathesh Ambasta, National Coordinator, National Consortium of CSOs on MGNREGA.