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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced a special package for 11 migration-affected districts to help workers earn better livelihood and prevent them from migrating to outside of the State.

Under the special package declared by the State government during a special function at Jaydev Bhawan, workers will be provided employment for 200 days in a year in 20 vulnerable blocks of four districts-Bargarh, Bolangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi under MGNREGA on a pilot basis. Workers will get Rs 286 as daily wage instead of Rs 188 per day earlier. The project will be extended to other 7 districts in a phased manner, a press release by the government stated.

Similarly, a State corpus fund of Rs 500 crore has been created to ensure timely and uninterrupted payment under MGNREGA.

All GPs under these 20 blocks of the four districts will be covered as intensive GPs under Odisha livelihoods Mission. Each family in these areas will be brought under SHG fold. Financial assistance from Community Investment Fund (CIF) and Vulnerability Reduction Fund (VRF) will be extended to these SHGs. Any person in distress can approach the local BDO for availing assistance from VRF.

The other benefits announced under the special package are:

  • All eligible households will be provided with pucca houses.
  • A drive will be undertaken for all eligible construction workers for their registration under Odisha Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board and will be given marriage assistance, pension, education assistance and pucca houses alongwith other admissible benefits.
  • Deployment of Shramik Mira (Focal point for migrant workers in the GP) will be done for all GPs in 20 blocks
  • District level MIS and Central data base at State level will be in place to track migrant workers and ensure linkage with welfare schemes. Comprehensive communication strategy will be prepared for behavior change communication in these areas.

With the implementation of the new project, the government aims to ensure livelihood, employment linked skill development and asset creation to help migrant workers and mitigate distress migration.

Moreover, the CM also launched 24x7 helpline e-Shramik Samadhan to ensure safety and welfare of Odia migrant workers in other states.

“In the first phase, 20 blocks of four worst affected districts have been covered under the master plan. Under MGNREGA, people were not getting wages for years as Centre had not been releasing fund on time. Now, under this special package a corpus fund of Rs 500 crore has been created. Henceforth, workers will get wage on the same month of doing any work,” said Subash Singh, Chairman of Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board.

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