The Government ruled out raising the number of days of assured work under the rural employment guarantee scheme as national average was lower than the promised 100 days.

Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain told the Rajya Sabha that less than one crore people in rural areas had availed of 100 days of employment and the national average was 52 days.

“When demand is not touching 100 days, it will not be logical to increase the number of days,” he said during Question Hour.

The objective of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA is to enhance livelihood security of the rural households by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a year to every household on demand for doing unskilled manual work, he said.

Various studies conducted in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Bihar and Kerala show that there has been a check on migration of labourers after Mahatma Gandhi NREGA came into force, he said.

Central Government provides money for giving 100 days of employment to rural unemployed while the implementation was with the state government, he said adding a minimum Rs 100 per day wage has been fixed under the programme and if state governments feel they can increase it.

Rural Development Minister C P Joshi said after poor are issued UID cards, their right to get 100 days of employment will be protected even if they migrate.

Jain said 2.10 crore households were provided employment under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA during 2006-07, 3.39 crore in 2007-08, 4.51 crore during 2008-09 and 5.06 crore during 2009-10.

Keywords: NREGAassured work

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