Mahatma Gandhi NREGA gives Gram Sabha right to conduct regular social audits of all works and expenditures

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Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Giriraj Singh will address the 2nd National Seminar on “Social Audit of Rural Development Programmes” on 26th September 2023 at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre here. The theme of this National Seminar is “Re-imagining Social Audit with a view to bring transparency and accountability”.

Union Minister of States for Rural Development and Steel Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste, Union Minister of State for Rural Development & Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Shri Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Secretary Department of Rural Development Shri Shailesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) Shri Amit Kataria and officers from the Ministry, Senior officers from all the State/UTs Governments will also be present on the occasion.

Experts participating in the seminar and officials have been invited from the States to share their experiences regarding Social Audit. In this Seminar, Director of Social Audit Unit from States/UTs will be participating along with SRP (State Resource Persons), DRP (District Resource Persons) and BRP (Block Resource Persons) of State’s Social Audit Team. Their insights will greatly enrich the discussions, and best practices adopted on the ground can serve as a model for others to follow.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) gives Gram Sabha the right to conduct regular social audits of all works and expenditures. This includes facilitation of the social audit through independent Social Audit Units, complete access to all records-online and offline, and pro-active disclosure through Wall writings. Mahatma Gandhi NREGA was the first act to mandate Social Audit by the Gram Sabha of all the projects taken up in the Gram Panchayat. Since then, it has been mandated in many other schemes.

The Central Government, in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG) notified the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Audit of Schemes Rules, 2011, which laid down the methodology and principles for conducting social audits in the States/UTs. As of now, 28 States/UTs have established Social Audit units. The SAUs are being constantly impressed upon to recruit and train required core staff at State, District and Block level.

After the successful first National Seminar held in 13th-14th November, 2019; Social Audit was extended to other major schemes administered by the Department of Rural Development. It is imperative to review the status of the implementation of the Social Audit in the States/UTs and work out a road map to re-imagine the Social Audit with a view to bring transparency and accountability. In this regard, this 2nd National Seminar is being organized by the Department of Rural Development on 26th September.

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