Job guarantee scheme extended to remaining areas

April 1st, 2008 - 7:43 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
(Lead, correcting figure in para 7)

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) was Tuesday extended to all parts of the country even as Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh pegged the government’s ambitious initiative’s projected fund requirement at Rs.3,000 billion during the 12th Five-Year Plan. “We had promised to implement this all over the country within five years. This was provided for when parliament passed the (National Rural Employment Guarantee) Act. But we are moving far ahead of time and today when we complete two years of NREGS and enter the third year, the remaining 274 districts are also being included,” he said.

“The first year of the 11th Five-Year Plan also completes today,” he noted.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched the NREGS from Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh Feb 2, 2006. It was extended to 130 other districts from April 1, 2007.

In this period, “31 million households sought employment under the scheme, of which 30.8 million secured employment,” he said.

The scheme generated 1.21 billion person-days of employment this year. Of this, “328 million went to the Scheduled Castes, constituting 27.04 percent, 365 million to the Scheduled Tribes, and 522.5 million to women - working out to 42.95 percent,” Singh said.

“In 2005-06 when the entire country was covered under the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), it generated 821 million person-days of rural employment. The very next year, in the first year of the NREGS, it went up to 905 million person-days, though it was restricted to just 200 districts that year.”

Similarly, while the person-days of employment generated in 330 districts under NREGS went up to 1.21 billion, the employment generated under the SGRY in the remaining 20 districts out of the NREGS purview was only 240 million person-days.

The NREGS took up 1.56 million works, of which 49,600 were completed and 1.06 million are still on.

Works related to water conservation constituted 48.44 percent of the total works, irrigation facility 14.75 percent, rural connectivity 16.99 percent, and land development 16.78 percent.

A total of 25 million job cards were issued under the scheme and 1.1 million filled the muster roll.

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