Net-savvy villager reveals 1 crore fraud

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 13:29 Hrs   |    48 Comments
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Net-savvy villager reveals Rs.1 crore fraud
Kutiyana: Being obsessed with Google, a betel shop owner has exposed the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) scam in Porbandar where most of the laborers mentioned in the list of beneficiaries were affluent NRIs, doctors in real life, who had never been a part of any job scheme. They have been shown as unemployed village labourers holding NREGA job cards, reports Hiral Dave of the Financial Express.

The amount involved in this scam is estimated at about 1 crore. 37 years old, Aslam Khokhar, who owns a betel shop in Kutiyana had just learnt to use computers and searched NREGA on Google where he found every detail of NREGS worked in his village area on the website and then he discovered the job card of a friend who holding a service in the Government. Then he found that there were doctors, teachers and NRIs, who were familiar to him as they were from the same village, being listed as 'labourers' on the site.

As per records, there are 963 NREGA job cardholders at Kotda village in Kutiyana taluka of Porbandar district. On papers, they have been paid over 95 lakh for their labour since three years. But in reality, none of them have ever participated in physically demanding activities like digging wells, building roads or actually received any money for the same purpose under NREGA.

Khokhar was immediately joined by Veja Modedara, an independent councillor at Kutiyana taluka panchayat and Bhanukant Odedara, a Congress worker to conduct door to door meetings with villagers whose names have been found on the website and after that, the trio revealed that neither of those people have ever worked on any NREGA site nor received any wages under the scheme.

Government employees are shocked to know about such a thing and they question about the possibility of getting a NREGA job card when they hold position in Government office.

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