GoI allows MGNREGA to begin in rural regions

On April 15, 2020 the Government of India issued guidelines for the extended lock down. Under the guidelines, the Government allows industrial works, road construction works and MGNREGA to begin in the rural areas

Need

MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) is the biggest source of employment generation in the country. It provides work to more than 50 to 60 million households annually. GoI estimates that there are around 500,000 to 600,000 migrants that have returned to their villages through out the country due to lock down. Thus, allowing MGNREGA, industrial works and construction activities in rural regions will help these migrants.

Plan

The aim is to help workers of unorganized sector and the migrants. Hence, the guidelines have classified all the industrial activities falling outside municipal limits as industrial activities in rural areas. Also, the brick kilns are to be restarted.

This time after lock down, when MGNREGA resumes priority is to be provided to water conservation and irrigation activities.

Funds

The central government had allocated Rs 60,000 crore for MGNREGA for the financial year 2020-21. The rural road infrastructure programme had received Rs 19,000 crore in the budget of 2020-21. Apart from these, the Prandhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana has allocated significant funds towards the welfare of rural and unorganized sector.

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