The Central Government is yet to take a decision on the question of extending the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme from 100 to 150 days. Official sources said on Monday that if the drought situation warrants it, the government would consider it favourably.
In the past too, the government has added fifty days to the scheme. Last year, the Union government had decided to extend the employment scheme to 150 days only for tribals just before the elections. At that time, then Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh had also given the benefit of an extra 50 days in the Maoist-affected areas and to those who had got land under the Forest Rights Act.
The situation is rather grim as far as rainfall goes and till June, it is deficient by 43 per cent. Kharif sowing has been delayed and the area planted is also lower by 43 per cent till July 4. The Met Department has projected below normal monsoon at 93 per cent of the long period average.
A comparison of rainfall distribution in the last five years in 36 met sub-divisions shows that rainfall distribution is the worst this year.