Over 7.43 lakh MGNREGA 'fake job cards' deleted in 2022-23, highest in UP

MGNREGA: As many as 67,937 fake job cards were deleted in Uttar Pradesh in 2021-23 and the number increased to 2,96,464 in 2022-23.

Odisha came second with 1,14,333 job cards being deleted. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Odisha came second with 1,14,333 job cards being deleted. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Press Trust of India | December 9, 2023 | 06:46 PM IST

NEW DELHI: More than 7.43 lakh "fake" job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme were deleted in 2022-23, of which over 2.96 lakh were in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre has said in the Lok Sabha. In a written response to a question this week, Minister of State for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti shared data on fake job cards.

The data showed 7,43,457 fake job cards were deleted in 2022-23 and 3,06,944 in 2021-22. Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest number of deletions on account of job cards being fake. As many as 67,937 fake job cards were deleted in Uttar Pradesh in 2021-23 and the number increased to 2,96,464 in 2022-23.

Odisha came second with 1,14,333 job cards being deleted in 2022-23 and 50,817 in 2021-22. In Madhya Pradesh, 27,859 fake job cards were deleted in the last fiscal and 95,209 in 2021-22. The corresponding figures for Bihar was 80,203 and 27,062. In Jharkhand, 70,673 job cards were deleted in 2022-23 and 23,528 the previous year.

In Andhra Pradesh, while the number of deleted fake job cards was 1,833 in 2021-22, it increased manifold to 46,662 in the last fiscal. Rajasthan saw deletion of 45,646 fake job cards in 2022-23 and 14,782 in 2021-22.

Fake job cards

In West Bengal, whose MGNREGA payments have been pending for the last two years over allegations of corruption, 5,263 job cards were deleted in 2022-23 for being fake and 388 in 2021-22. Jyoti said deletion and updation of job cards is a "continuous process" and as per Section 25 of the Act, whoever contravenes its provisions shall on conviction be liable to a fine which may extend to Rs 1,000.

"Also, Aadhaar seeding has been made mandatory for the de-duplication of the beneficiaries database to prevent fake job card issuance," she said.

Meanwhile, 6,47,8345 new job cards were issued in 2022-23, Jyoti informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply to another question. In 2021-22, 1,20,63,967 new job cards were issued, while in 2020-21, the year that saw COVID-19-induced lockdown, 1,91,05,369 new job cards were issued.

According to a reply given by Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon session, job cards entailing over 5.18 crore workers were deleted in 2022-23, which was an increase of 247.06 per cent compared to 2021-22, when the figure stood at more than 1.49 crore. Jobs care are deleted for various reasons, including these being fake or duplicate and when the a beneficiary move out of a panchayat area or dies.

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