Faced with the possibility of a steep rise in the rate of unemployment in villages following the arrival of large-scale stranded migrant workers from other States, the Jharkhand government on Monday launched three labour intensive programmes to restore the rural economy.
These three schemes have been devised in convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CIME) data, the State is reeling under severe joblessness with unemployment rate pegged at 47.1% — double that of the national average (23.5%). The arrival of an estimated 5 lakh to 6 lakh migrant workers is likely to worsen the situation.
In Ranchi, Chief Minister Hemant Soren unveiled three schemes — Birsa Harit Gram Yojana (BHGY), Neelambar Pitambar JAL Sammridhi Yojana (NPJSY) and Veer Sahid Poto Ho Khel Vikas Scheme (VSPHKVS) — to create wage employment for workers in rural areas.
The BHGY is envisaged at bringing over two lakh acres of unused government fallow land under the afforestation programme. About five lakh families will be provided 100 fruit-bearing plants. The initial plantation, maintenance, land work and afforestation will be taken up through MNREGA.
Each family is estimated to receive an annual income of ₹50,000 from fruit harvest after three years while the ownership of land will remain with the government
As per NPJSY, the government is aiming at creating agro-water storage units by arresting rainwater and runaway groundwater. Nearly 5 lakh acre of cultivable land can be irrigated through the initiative, said the State government. An estimated 10 crore person days will be generated through the scheme in the next 4-5 years.
Under VSPHKVS, as many as 5,000 sports grounds will be developed across the State. The government hopes to generate one crore person days through the scheme in the current financial year.