The government is likely to introduce biometrics cards and electronic attendance systems from next fiscal to plug the leakages in its flagship employment scheme NREGA, even as it looks to step up allocation for the scheme sharply to Rs 45,000 crore. States such as Rajasthan have already experimented with biometrics card system to prevent leakage and the Centre now is keen to unveil it on all-India basis. The success of United Progressive Alliance government’s flagship job safety programme, which has won accolades from the International Labour Organisation for shielding the country from impact of century’s worst global recession, has been clouded by reports of leakage of funds due to fake attendance. In some states of North East, it was found that funds were transferred under the scheme to even doctors and engineers. In Uttar Pradesh alone the leakage was estimated at Rs 850 crore. Of the total allocation of Rs 39,000 crore in 2009-10, Rs 24,775 crore had been used until January 31, 2009. In fact, the ministry may be able to utilise only about Rs 35,000 crore in the current financial year. Total allocation to the scheme may be enhanced to Rs 45,000 crore in 2010-11. The Act aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. The average wage per person day under the scheme has gone up to Rs 88 a day in 2009-10 from Rs 65 a day in 2006-07. The official explained that the biometrics system can be introduced over the next financial year and can be serviced though common service centres in rural areas. “The GPS can also keep track of actual implementation of the work,” he added. The system could also be aligned with the unique identity data base.