Utilise MGNREGA to the fullest capacity -Brinda Karat
The scheme should not be diluted in the name of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan
The role of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) as a lifeline for the working poor in rural India has been proved once again with the experience of the lockdown. In April and part of May, it was the absence of MGNREGA which accentuated rural distress. The Central government revised lockdown guidelines to allow MGNREGA work only from April 20, nearly a month after the nationwide lockdown was imposed, and released funds for it belatedly.
But once the money reached the States, the results are evident. Whereas the number of households who got work in April 2020 was the lowest in several years at 95 lakh, in May the number went up to 3.05 crore. Till the third week of June, 2.84 crore households had got work, much higher when compared to the same months last year. With an average 23 days of work and a daily wage of 200, households who got work earned an average of 1,500 a month. Even though this is meagre, it shows the potential of MGNREGA to bring work and relief, provided it is further expanded.
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The Hindu, 1 July, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/utilise-mgnrega-to-the-fullest-capacity/article31957319.ece