Notify extra 50 days MGNREGA work in 13 flood-hit districts: Karnataka minister to Centre

Source: PTI | Published on 8th September 2021, 12:28 PM | State News |

New Delhi:  Karnataka Rural Development Minister K S Eshwarappa Tuesday requested the Centre to notify additional 50 days of work under the rural jobs guarantee scheme MGNREGA in 13 flood-affected districts of the state.

In a meeting with Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh, Eshwarappa also demanded early clearance of unskilled wage due of Rs 781.64 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.

He also demanded additional allocation of 1,700 km of road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-3.

In the meeting, Eshwarappa informed the Central minister that heavy rainfall has caused widespread loss to livelihood and property in several districts of Karnataka in the last few months.

As a result, the state government has declared 61 blocks of 13 districts flood-hit, he said.

"I, therefore, request the Union Government to notify additional 50 days under section 3(4) of the MGNREGA in the said blocks," Eshwarappa said in a representation made to the Union Minister.

Stating that the timely release of MGNREGA scheme funds by the Centre helped greatly during the pandemic, the minister said the state government has not only disbursed wages amounting to Rs 2030.57 crore so far in the current fiscal, but also ensured timely payment of wages in 99.67 per cent cases.

However, there is still outstanding unskilled wage dues of Rs 781.64 crore as on September 2, he said.

"I would, therefore, request you to sanction further releases to the state to meet the demand under MGNREGA scheme in the month to come,” he said, and requested the Centre to examine the trifurcation of the wage accounts at the state level in view of few operational complications.

Eshwarappa also informed the Union minister there is abundant scope to use MGNREGA funds to build rural infrastructure like public health centers, new classrooms in schools and colleges, libraries in gram panchayats and rural gymnasiums.

The minister requested to add these new works to the schedule-I of MGNREGA under the category of rural infrastructure.

Further, Eshwarappa demanded the Centre to sanction additional 90 clusters to the state under the ambitious Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission (SPMRM) to replicate the success across other districts.

Currently, eight clusters that have been identified under the SPMRM have been performing well, he added.

In the meeting, the minister also mentioned that there is great demand and need for employment to rural households in flood-hit areas to restore their socioeconomic status and also to avoid migration of rural people to cities in search of employment. 

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