State seeks extension of 100 days job cap under MGNREGA

Bhubaneswar: Seeking steps to raise the cap of 100 days jobs under the rural employment scheme, the Odisha government today decided to provide work to labourers for unlimited days in Bolangir and Nuapada districts under MGNREGA with the state to bear the extra cost.
"We have decided to extend the 100 days limit for providing jobs to people in migration-prone Bolangir and Nuapada districts. As Centre has put a 100 days cap on giving work to a job card holder's family, the state government will bear the extra cost," Panchayati Raj minister Kalpataru Das said.
The minister, who attended the State Employment Guarantee Council meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said there would be no limit for job card holders in Bolangir and Nuapada where people were migrating to other states in search of jobs.
"We have urged the Ministry of Rural Development to extend the cap and allow the state government to give jobs beyond 100 days as per their requirement in all the 30 districts," the minister said.
The state government has also recommended increase in the daily wage under MGNREGA from Rs 116 to Rs 150, Das said.
A large number of people from Bolangir and Nuapada migrate to Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra in search of work as they were landless marginal agricultural labourers.
There were villages in these two districts where the entire population migrated to other states after the harvest season in December every year.
While the state government has been demanding extension of the cap of 100 days, an official source said that at least 80 families in Nuapada district completed 100 days work in 2012.
Besides, the minister said, the state government would prepare a five-year perspective plan to provide maximum work to the people in need. The state government has also decided to undertake construction of Anganwadi centres under MGNREGA, he said.
The state government has targeted to create 9 crore man days by spending Rs 2,000 crore under MGNREGA in 2012-13.
Presiding over the meeting, the chief minister told officials to ensure MGNREGA work for beneficiaries of Forest Rights Acts and members of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG).