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COVID-19 Lockdown: Impact on Agriculture and Rural Economy -Vikas Rawal, Manish Kumar, Ankur Verma and Jesim Pais

-Society for Social and Economic Research Monograph 20/3 Key Messages Lack of planning and preparation by the Central government for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a massive blow to India’s economy and has caused enormous hardships to working people of the country. Harvesting of Rabi crops • Unplanned and sudden imposition of the lockdown resulted in a massive and unprecedented disruption to agricultural activities such as harvesting, sale of agricultural produce, and purchase...

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Welfare mainstay MGNREGS off to slow start this fiscal year -Saubhadra Chatterji

-Hindustan Times Less than 57% of the people who sought work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) have received jobs under the programme. At a time when millions of migrant workers who have returned home to the hinterland are looking towards it for a livelihood, the government’s flagship rural jobs programme has got off to a slow start in the new financial year, government data show, amid the...

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Why cash can save the rural jobs scheme -Reetika Khera

-Livemint.com * India is set to spend over ₹1 tn on the world’s largest Rural Employment programme. Can it be made to work better? * Large work sites should be opened proactively in each panchayat without waiting for applications. Anyone who shows up should be allowed to work and payments should be in cash If we get work in the village, why would we go elsewhere? We have worked on NREGA before, but...

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Migrants Back In Jharkhand: ‘Give us a reason to stay… something beyond MGNREGA’ -Abhishek Angad

-The Indian Express The Indian Express spoke to a cross-section of migrant workers back from different parts of the country. These are day labourers and skilled workers such as carpenter, embroiderer, welder, among others. One thread connects them — demand for something beyond MGNREGA. Ranchi: Rakesh Verma and Suresh Yadav had left their homes in Jharkhand for jobs in metro cities and were in no hurry to return. Verma, 22, had a...

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3.5 million new enrolments under MGNREGA, as ‘distressed’ workers return to villages -Chetan Chauhan

-Hindustan Times According to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme website, around 3.5 million new job applications have come in the current financial year since April 1 till May 20. As many as 3.5 million new workers have sought jobs under MGNREGA since April 1, the highest number of applications in a decade, but there may not be enough work to engage them all, according to government data and officials...

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