The number of workers employed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has increased 10 fold in the state, stated Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Thursday. He further said that the number oas jumped from 60,000 to 1 lakh in the last 10 days.
"Around 11 lakh MNREGA workers have been employed in Rajasthan, which has put the state on second rank in the country for employing the largest number of workers under the scheme," he said.
He added that most of them were working in their own lands and thus physical distancing could be maintained. He said, "We have given masks, soaps, sanitisers to these workers so that they can work safely."
The Centre has sanctioned Rs 33,300 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), of which Rs 20,624 crore has been released to liquidate all outstanding dues of previous years towards wages and material, he said.
This sanctioned amount is sufficient to meet expenses under the scheme till June 2020, the Rural Development Ministry said in an official statement.
Assuring the states and UTs that sufficient financial resources are available for different rural development programmes, Tomar said the Centre has already released Rs 36,400 crore in the current financial year to them.
Noting that the challenge posed by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is very serious, Tomar urged the states to convert this challenge into an opportunity for development and strengthening of rural infrastructure and creation of employment opportunities.
Earlier, the state government revised the wages and working hours for workers under the scheme. Pilot said unskilled workers will be paid Rs 220 per day against the earlier Rs 199 per day. Skilled and semi-skilled workers will be given Rs 235 per day.
Earlier, they were paid Rs 213 per day, he said, adding that people in rural areas will get financial support with the hike amid the coronavirus outbreak. Pilot had said the working hours too have been revised from 6 am to 1 pm. Instructions have been given to officials to get the maximum “individual” work done under the scheme, he said.