'Centre mulls over 200 days job under NREGS'

Speaking at a district-level legal workshop on NREGS and Construction and other workers Act 1996, organised jointly by District Legal Services Authority, Zilla Panchayat, and district administration here on Sunday, he said the government has earmarked Rs 30 crore towards NREGS for 2009-10. Legislature, Judiciary and Executive are trying their level best to provide employment to the poor in rural areas under the scheme.

Under Construction and other workers Act 1996, the Government has earmarked Rs 280 crore. The cess amount collected by the local administration from the building owners have been earmarked for the welfare of the labourers by the government. Under the Act, construction workers’ children will be given education, health care and housing facilities.
High Court Judge L Narayanaswamy said “Central government had passed several schemes in the past. However, none had employment guarantee scheme. Now, under NREGS, the poor are guaranteed minimum of 100 days employment. If the eligible labourers are not given employment, it can be questioned in the court of law.”
Though India has achieved self sufficient in food security, as many as 23 crore population suffer from hunger. 40 per cent of the population still live below poverty line.
Though NREGS came into existence in 2005, the fruits of the scheme have not yet come to light. At the same time, none of them have questioned in the court. The scheme does not aim at preventing the migration of people from rural to urban areas.
It is the fundamental right of labourers to migrate from one place to another in search of job. However, it aims at providing employment to those who remain unemployed without any skills, he clarified.

High Court Judge S N Sathyanarayana said unemployment is on rise in the country. It can not be controlled. “The NREGS will help in maintaining standard of living of the rural people.”

“Though Rs 285 crore has been earmarked under Construction Workers and other workers Act, only Rs 25 crore has been spent so far. There is a need to create an awareness on the scheme among the labourers,” he opined.
Assembly Deputy Speaker K G Bopaiah, MLC M C Nanaiah, MLA M P Appachuranjan, ZP President S N Rajarao also spoke. Deputy Commissioner Ashwathanarayana Gowda, Additional Chief Conservator of Forest Dr Sundar Naik and others were present.

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