National Social Assistance Programme : CAG Report
An audit conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has revealed that approximately Rs 79 crore was improperly transferred to ineligible beneficiaries under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) of the Ministry of Rural Development between 2017 and 2021.
- Article 151 of the Constitution mandates the CAG to present audit reports to the President.
Key findings of the audit report include:
- A substantial portion of transferred funds was disbursed to ineligible beneficiaries, including those who had passed away.
- Nearly Rs 3 crore was diverted for campaigning in respect to other ministry schemes.
- Most states (except Haryana and Kerala) failed to maintain a proper database of eligible beneficiaries, resulting in the exclusion of eligible individuals.
- Ineligible payments made to individuals below the required age for specific pension schemes like INGOAPS and IGNWPS in multiple states/UTs.
- Pension Mismanagement Payments meant for disability pensions disbursed to ineligible individuals, and inaccuracies in assessing the degree of disability in some cases.
- Beneficiaries In 26 states/UTs, payments continued to be made to over 2,100 individuals even after their death, a concerning finding.
- Many states relied on outdated or incomplete BPL lists instead of the mandated SECC to identify beneficiaries, leading to the exclusion of eligible individuals.
- Some states diverted NSAP funds for other purposes, and certain funds remained unused for years. NSAP Advisory Committee held only a few meetings.
- This misallocation of funds led to several eligible beneficiaries being excluded from the program. Over 4.65 crore people availed of benefits during 2017-21
National Social Assistance Programme:
- It was launched on 15th August, 1995.
- It is is a social security and welfare programme to provide support to aged persons, widows, disabled persons and bereaved families on death of primary bread winner,
belonging to below poverty line households.
- For getting benefits under NSAP the applicant must belong to a Below Poverty Line (BPL) family according to the criteria prescribed by the Govt. of India.
- The other eligibility criteria and the scale of central assistance under the sub – schemes of NSAP are as follows