Gehlot wants Centre to double MNREGA employment days

Gehlot wants Centre to double employment days under MNREGA to 200

The chief minister said villagers and public representatives gave their cooperation and support in taking care of migrants who returned to rural areas of the state. (Credit: PTI Photo)

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday insisted that the Centre should double the number of days of employment under the rural job guarantee scheme, saying the UPA-era law MGNREGA has proved its worth in providing livelihood to the poor.

The Centre should increase the limit of days for providing employment to the rural poor from the present 100 days to 200 under Mahatama Gnadhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, said Gehlot.

He made the remark while interacting with sarpanches, gram sevaks, patwaris and other gram panchayat functionaries through a video conference on the issue of corona pandemic.

“The significance of MGNREGA, introduced by the previous UPA government, has been proved during the corona pandemic. At a time when people lost their jobs, MGNREGA gave them work,” he said, adding millions of people got job opportunities under MGNREGA in the country.

Gehlot also said Rajasthan has been successful in tackling the corona crisis because of the cooperation of common people in following the government's advisories.

He said a good work has been done in rural areas of the state where large number of migrants returned from other states and adequate arrangements of quarantine facilities were made.

“Now it is our endeavour to bring economic activities back on track so that normalcy could be restored while protecting lives,” he said.

The chief minister said villagers and public representatives gave their cooperation and support in taking care of migrants who returned to rural areas of the state.

Gram panchayat functionaries also worked like a team to handle the situation in rural areas, he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said Rajasthan is the leading state in providing job opportunities under the MGNREGA.

“MNREGA scheme is proving to be a boon for the workers who returned to Rajasthan due to lack of employment in other states, besides for those deprived of employment at the local level,” he said.

He said 42.80 lakh workers have been provided job opportunities in the state this year.

He said where almost all other employment opportunities were shut during the lockdown, the MNREGA scheme has proved to be a lifeline for the poor and backward people in rural areas.

“Job cards of 1.77 lakh migrant labourers returned from various states have also been issued to provide employment under the MNREGA scheme,” he said.

Pilot also said that in view of the scorching summer, the central government should reduce the working time under MNREGA.

During the video meet, sarpanches and other functionaries apprised the chief minister of arrangements in their area for handling corona pandemic, distribution of food to the needy and quarantine arrangements.

The officials too apprised Gehlot of various activities carried out in quarantine centers, including yoga, plantation etc.

The issues of locust invasion and water scarcity too were discussed in the video meet.

In the meeting, the officials informed the CM that 96,000 hectare of area in 20 districts of the state are affected with the menace of locust and the situation was controlled in 73,000 hectare.

In present, there are some swarms of locusts in Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Dausa, Bikaner, Barmer and Jodhpur and locust control activities were being carried out through resources like sprayer machines, fire brigades etc.

PHED Minister B D Kalla, Agriculture Minister Lalchand Kataria, Health Minister Raghu Sharma, Chief Secretary D B Gupta and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

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