However, the state has mentioned that given the “small sample size” of the survey conducted by the Centre for Environment and Food Security, the findings were “more indicative than conclusive”.
The 140-page report titled ‘The Great MNERGA Robbery’ surveyed 2,500 households across 100 Dalit villages in 10 Bihar districts. The NGO said it arrived at the “scam figure” using extrapolation.
It compared the Centre’s figures for the scheme with what the beneficiaries among the most marginalised sections of society — SCs/STs and extremely backwarded classes — “actually got”. The report states, about 73 per cent of the MNREGA funds distributed in 38 districts from 2006-07 to 2011-12 had been “embezzled by implementing authorities”. As Rs 8,189 was spent on MNREGS in Bihar in this period, the NGO said this amounts to an “embezzled” sum of Rs 5,977 crore.
Bihar Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra said they had ordered an inquiry in all the 10 districts. “Our only objection is to this Rs 6,000 crore scam figure,” he said.