The finance minister said with the infusion, nearly 300 crore person days of jobs can be generated under the scheme and a larger number of durable and livelihood assets can be created.
To ensure that crores of migrant labourers who have gone back to their villages find enough job opportunities, the government on Sunday allocated an additional Rs 40,000 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MG-NREGS) for the current fiscal, over and above Rs 61,500 crore allocated in the Budget for 2020-21.
The finance minister said with the infusion, nearly 300 crore person days of jobs can be generated under the scheme and a larger number of durable and livelihood assets can be created. The move will boost the rural economy through higher production, she said.
The government had allocated Rs 71,002 crore under MGNREGA in 2019-20 and Rs 61,815 crore in 2018-19. Around 265 crore person days were created in the entire 2019-20. In 2018-19, the total number was 268 crore. As on May, 17, a total of 15.85 crore person days of job have been generated.
The scheme has always in great demand, and so the budged provisions almost invariably got revised upwards.
“There was a pressing need to increase the allocation as many migrant workers who have returned home from metros and other cities would substantially increase the demand for jobs under the scheme in rural areas,” said a senior government official.
As part of its relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), the government had on March 26 enhanced daily wage rate under MG-MREGS by Rs 20 to Rs 202 per day. The increased rate came into effect from April 1.