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Opinion

Government allocates additional Rs 10k cr for migrant scheme

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The third stimulus package from the Narendra Modi government injected an additional Rs 10,000 crore into the special work scheme for migrant workers, an indication that a large portion of salaried workers still rely on the Center’s welfare program even though almost all sectors of the economy have reopened for business.

Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana is in progress in 116 districts and has so far spent Rs 39,292 crore of the initial 50 billion rupee outlay.

The additional allocation of Rs 10,000 crore, an increase of 20%, will be used mainly for MGNREGS-related work, such as construction of rural houses or water conservation and collection. “Our current estimate shows that we would need funds for 320 million people per day at MGNREGS. Since a larger number of MGNREGS works are under this special work scheme, this additional disbursement is provided, ”said a senior official from the Ministry of Rural Development on condition of anonymity.

The Garib Kalyan Rozgar plan was launched in June and prioritized 25 existing plans to offer jobs to migrant workers returning home during the pandemic. Most of them are from six states. This is the first additional assignment for the program.

HT had reported on September 27 that house construction in rural India has fueled this effort with 3.77 lakh projects, followed by 1.21 lakh water harvesting and conservation works, and 92,158 projects involving the laying of fiber optic cables under Bharat Net.

The flagship rural employment program, MGNREGA, has a record allocation of Rs 1.01 lakh crore for fiscal year 20-21. Demand for jobs under the MGNREGS has slowed in the past three months, but officials believe it will increase further in the winter months after the agricultural season ends. The government announced that 73.504 million rupees have been released under MGNREGA and that 251 million rupees have been generated per person of employment.

Experts say the additional Rs 10 billion will be spent on some specific schemes from the basket of 25 programs that were uploaded at the beginning to implement the migrant jobs scheme. “It appears that additional funds are required for these schemes and that is the reason why the government injected Rs 10,000 crore,” said former rural development secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra.

Hindustan Times

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