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    Drought-hit states to get more help under MGNREG Act

    Synopsis

    Drought-hit states will get more money to meet increased demand for jobs from affected farmers under the MGNREG Act.

    NEW DELHI: Drought-hit states will get more money to meet increased demand for jobs from affected farmers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act (MGNREGA).

    Rural development ministry officials will meet state government representatives next month to review labour budgets based on the new shelf of projects identified by the states.

    Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and West Bengal have already reported some increase in demand for MGNREGA jobs and the Centre has to ensure that demands are met, rural development secretary S Vijay Kumar told ET.

    "The drought has hit different states differently. There are some that have been majorly affected and some not affected at all. So, their demands would also be different. Our decision to increase the labour budget will differ from case to case," the secretary said.

    The group of ministers on drought recently decided to increase the number of guaranteed work days under MGNREGA from 100 days to 150 days.

    Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat have together declared more than 350 talukas, or administrative sub-divisions, as drought affected due to delayed and erratic South West Monsoon this kharif season.

    "Employment under MGNREGA plays a crucial role in mitigating distress when agriculture produce gets hit and farmers do not have work," Kumar said.

    The meeting with states, which is scheduled in October, will also focus on the new shelf of projects identified by state governments. "Labour budgets will also depend on the projects identified by states," the secretary said.

    Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had written to state governments earlier this year to create a bank of fundable projects under the scheme.

    The rural development ministry has enough resources to fund the increased demand under the employment scheme. The finance ministry had allocated Rs 33,000 crore this fiscal for the scheme and there is surplus left over from the previous year. "There is enough head-room to take care of increased demand," Kumar added.
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    1 Comment on this Story

    krishna2999 days ago
    MNREGA is the most non-transparent act ever introduced, till date there is no record of the actual work done by people in rural areas & how they get paid under this act, also if a farmer engages labour to sow & harvest his agri land, the same does not constitute under MNREGA, in reality a lot of farm labour has been translated or converted to indicate payments under this act, pls provide all records to continue this act or withdraw this with immediate effect
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