Centre agrees to increase man-days under MGNREGS

Berhampur: The Centre has agreed to increase man-days under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to 150 in recent cyclone and flood-affected districts of Ganjam, Puri, Mayurbhanj and Balasore in Odisha.
The present limit for guaranteed employment to rural households under the scheme is 100 days a year.
Panchayati Raj secretary Deoranjan Kumar Singh has directed the district administrations to take immediate steps in view of the order, official sources said today.
The state government recently wrote to the Union government to allow it to engage more people under MGNREGS for removing debris from sand-cast land and roads in the calamities-hit areas of Odisha.
It had also requested the Centre to increase the man-days, which aimed at providing employment to the affected people of the four districts.
"The matter was examined by the ministry and it has decided to allow special dispensation for the recent cyclone and flood affected districts under MGNREGS," said R Subrahmanyam, joint secretary, Union ministry of rural development in a letter to the state.
The wage to material ratio of 60:40 would be maintained while undertaking restoration work, the letter added.
Around 25 lakh people were affected in cyclone Phailin and subsequent floods last month. Many lost their livelihood in the twin calamities. "We hope relaxation in the scheme will enable people to start their life afresh," said project director, district rural development agency (Ganjam), Prem Chandra Choundhury.