Monday, 15 August, 2022
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This is how Modi govt plans to help MGNREGA workers during Covid-19 lockdown

States and UTs told to focus on individual asset creation under MGNREGA that requires 4-5 workers and allows for social distancing. DBT payments to be expedited.

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New Delhi: To protect the rural poor from the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the Narendra Modi government has decided to expedite the transfer of cash under the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme while laying emphasis on ‘individual asset creation’ under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

The move is part of a series of measures the government is initiating to provide relief to those people whose livelihood will take a hit due to the 21-day lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Tuesday.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also said Tuesday the government is readying a relief package for sectors reeling under the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“An order was issued on Friday to expedite all pending payments under DBT for this financial year (2019-20). We have started the process using all alternate digital payment instruments including the Unified Payment Interface,” a senior official in the DBT Mission told ThePrint.

Currently, over 400 central government schemes have been brought under the DBT platform.

Also read: Use hydroxychloroquine with caution: ICMR warns amid confusion over use of drug for Covid-19

Backlog in MGNREGA wages to be expedited too

Starting Wednesday, the rural development ministry will also start clearing the backlog of MGNREGA wages and material assets that have been created. In the current fiscal, there are 8 crore job holders registered under MGNREGA.

“On Monday, Parliament approved our second supplementary demand for grants to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore. This will be used to clear the delayed wages of workers by 31 March,” a second government official said.

To ensure that the lockdown does not impact the livelihood of the rural poor, the Union rural development ministry has also told states to focus on giving work involving “individual asset creation” that require maximum four to five workers.

Under MGNREGA, individual asset creation involves building farm ponds, digging wells, horticulture-related activities among others.

“This involves up to a maximum of four to five workers and can easily be carried out while practising social distancing,” said the second official quoted earlier.

This, the official added, will ensure the worker has his livelihood even during this period of public health crisis.

The ministry, however, is yet to take a call on Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s demand seeking more funds from the Centre to pay unemployment allowance to labourers. Under the MGNREGA, a person is entitled to the allowance if he or she is not allotted work within 15 days of demand.

Also read: Coronavirus pandemic is ominous news for India’s rabi crops and farm-to-food chain

Ministry asks states, UTs to use cess fund for workers

On Tuesday, the Union labour ministry also issued an advisory to chief ministers of states and lieutenant governors of union territories, directing them to transfer funds into the accounts of construction workers through DBT mode from the cess fund collected by the labour welfare boards.

About Rs 52,000 crore is available as cess fund and about 3.5 crore construction workers are registered with these welfare boards.

On Monday, the government had also allowed states to collect food grains on credit from the Food Corporation of India, for a period of three months.

Also read: Doctors turn to social media to develop Covid-19 treatments in real time


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  1. Ham deroj jar hai Hamare pas koe naukari nah i hai kir Pa ya hamari mad at kare Ham Bihari hai

    • Please help me sir have no job help me sir Account no 20409562355 Ifsc code SBIN0000085 Please help me sir

  2. Dear sir,
    MYSELF Ravichandran from kerala.tourism hotel a daily wages work.last 50 days no job and no salary.when our tourism field again open I don’t know.4 persons in our family .till tate i didn’t get any govt can adjust my family electricity and water bills are pending.LPG gas also not filled.due to no money in my hand.what can i do?how can run my family ecpense.please give any help.waiting for your kind reply.

  3. Mai mathana jagatpur post. Sharai chaviila dist bulandshahr sy hu 1 sal ho gya wages pay nahi Mila h mane net p check Kya h Mera nam nahi h..aur sactruy ko 2 bar documents copy sand ki koi you nahi h

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