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Ramesh Kumar
11 April 2008, Friday
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Goa’s premier body for the protection of Comunidades (village Communities) the Association of Componentes of Comunidades (ACC) has petitioned the Goa Government to constitute a separate Tribunal to adjudicate cases pertaining to Comunidades under the Code of Comunidades

A Resolution to this effect was adopted at a General Body Meeting of the ACC held recently. The ACC felt that the ‘present Tribunal can no longer provide relief to the Comunidades and Componentes or any aggrieved person being overburdened with other Government related matters and hence, a separate Administrative Tribunal as per the Code of Communidades should be formed.’ Apart from the Tribunal having to carry out the Audit of the Comunidades and Administrator’s Office it is using the fraudulent version of the English Code of Comunidades since it (current Tribunal) was not conversant with the official Portuguese language Code, the ACC added. Aggrieved over the functioning of the Office of the Director of Civil Administration (DCA), the Association of Componentes of Comunidades also demanded that the Government reconstitute the Office of the DCA as it existed on 20.12.1961. As per the original Code, ‘the Administrator and staff of the Administrator’s office were appointed only after passing a required test stipulated in the Code and subject to approval of the Governor.’ The ACC asserted that ‘no Government servant should be appointed as Administrator of Comunidades’. Adopting Resolutions registering these objections, the Meeting further resolved that a delegation of the ACC would ‘seek appointment with the Goa Chief Minister to discuss ‘the fraudulent and illegal constitution of the Collector’s Office in the absence of ‘State Landlordism’ failing which alternate steps be initiated to restrain the Revenue Authorities from such interference in the Private Comunidade Villages of Goa.’
Who is siphoning diverted PDS-Kerosene subsidy

The Government’s pilot project to target subsidized kerosene to intended beneficiaries dubbed the Jan Kerosene Pariyojna (JKP) has not been successful. The scheme has prevented a mere estimated 2.2 percent diversion of kerosene meant for poorer households, according to the study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

Earlier, NCAER had estimated diversion of kerosene from households to the tune of 38 percent. &      

“An estimated 1,633 kilolitres of public distribution system (PDS) kerosene was purchased by the households under JKP and hence prevented from being diverted,” the NCAER report to the petroleum ministry states. The scheme was launched from October 2, 2005 for an initial period of six months and covered 414 blocks spread over 24 states. The scheme was initially extended for three months up to June 30, 2006 and then up to September 30, 2006 and extended up to June 30 this year. Later, another extension till July 30, 2007 was granted.

The average value of reduction in diversion of PDS kerosene has been estimated as 21 paisa per litre against the average cost of 37 paisa per litre for implementing the JKP, including capital and under recoveries.

“If the reduction in leakage is assumed to be at last 3 percent, savings on account of reduction in diversion would be 35 paisa per litre. In other words, a small improvement in performance in bitter targeting would justify the cost of the scheme. This is possible with greater involvement of the panchayati raj institution in monitoring the delivery of kerosene under PDS,” the report pointed out.

On an average, a reduction in the leakage of PDS kerosene in JKP blocks was estimated to be 0.253 litres per household during October 2005- March 2006 in 378 blocks spread over 15 States. Reduction in leakage to kerosene per household in JKP estimated to be higher in Maharashtra (1.459 litre), Orissa (0.815 litre), Chattisgarh (0.0803 litre) and Assam (0.788 litre). Reduction per household in JKP blocks estimated to be less in Uttar Pradesh (0.046 litres), West Bengal (0.055 litres) and Jharkand (0.100 litres). (Photo : Kerosene .jpeg )
Orissa: Officers get Rs. 500 crores under NREGP on tampered figures

The national Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) in Orissa is under a cloud after allegations that large-scale tampering of figures led to misappropriation of Rs 500 crore meant for the scheme.

The allegations are being looked into by the Central Council on the NREGP in the Rural Development Ministry and is reported to have been taken up during a review of the scheme by the Prime Minister last month. The Centre for Environment an Food Security, a Delhi based organization, studied the data for five districts that were put on the website of the NREGP by the state government. It found the date at variance with the details of the workdays and the wages disbursed in the villages.

The survey by the NGO in 100 villages found that the administration officials at all levels misappropriated Rs 500 crore meant to pay wages under the programme. “We are saying on the basis of what we found on the job cards of people in 100 of the 2,465 villages in the five district that Rs 500 crore has been siphoned off,” said Parshuram Rai, the director of the Centre for Environment and Food Security.Anne Raja, a member of the Central Council of the NREGP said they were aware of the allegations. “ It is a massive scheme involving huge amount of money. Hence , while it can’t be expected to be perfect in its first year, the council members plan to visit the villages to verify records and match them with the details on the websites,” 

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