Employment guarantee scheme pegged at Rs.3,000 bn

April 1st, 2008 - 6:23 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh pegged the projected requirement for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) for the 12th Five Year Plan at Rs.3,000 billion while launching it in all the 604 districts of the country Tuesday. “We had promised to implement this all over the country within five years. This was provided for when parliament passed the Act. But we are moving far ahead of time and today (Tuesday) 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 (Tuesday),” 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. “it completes two years today,” the minister said.

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 per cent, 365 million to the Scheduled Tribes, and 522.5 million to women - working out to 42.95 per cent,” Singh claimed.

Giving instances of the success of the NREGS, he said: “In the year 2005-06 when the entire country was being given the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) the rural employment generated 821 million person-days. 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 20 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 going on.

The water conservation works 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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