More 50 days work under MGNREGA

Bhubaneswar: Daily wagers in drought affected areas of State will get more 50 days employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

At a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the state government decided to extend the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work days to 200 days. The Centre hiked the man days of work from 100 to 150 days in drought-hit areas after Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved a proposal in this regard three days ago.

Normally, people get 100 days of work per annum under MGNREGA.

As many as 103 of the state’s 314 blocks have recorded scanty rainfall affecting agricultural activities. This apart, eight districts — Dhenkanal, Khurda, Balangir, Boudh, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Kandhamal and Keonjhar– have registered less than normal rainfall during this monsoon.

“The state government will bear the additional expenditure to be incurred for extension of 150 days work to 200 days,” state Panchayati Raj Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, who attended the meeting, said.

The work under the MGNREGA is generally provided through agriculture, forest, panchatayi raj and water resources departments, he said, adding that jobs would also be provided for construction of ‘Biju Pucca Ghar’ scheme and Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), check dams, cross dams, canal embankments, plantation on road sides and schools.

Sahoo said 2.26 crore man days have been utilised so far and the state government has now estimated that it would provide 7.60 crore man days during this fiscal.

Patnaik has asked the administration to give priority to women, people belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities while selecting beneficiaries for additional 50 days work.

The additional work days would be utilised in works under Biju Pucca Ghar, IAY, rural livelihood mission, soil conservation and construction of Anganwadi houses, Sahoo said.