Just over 30 lakh people were provided work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) as of April 30, the government data showed. The government on April 15 gave its nod for MGNREGA workers to take up jobs from April 20 onwards. Only 30.80 lakh jobs were given till April 30, according to the official data. In April FY20, 1.7 crore workers were given jobs under MGNREGA. India has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 25 due to coronavirus crisis. The lockdown is expected to be lifted on May 3.
The total funds released by the government stand at Rs 20, 581.53 crore so far in this fiscal, the data available on the MGNREGA website showed. In FY20, the MGNREGA budget was Rs 71,420 crore. The wages worth Rs 1,440.83 crore were given to the workers so far in April 2020. In complete FY20, Rs 48,553.52 crore worth of wages was given. The percentage of payments generated within 15 days of April, after the work resumed, stood at 99.99 per cent. In complete FY20, it was 95.51 per cent. The women 'persondays' out of total percentage is 52.03. The average cost per day per person is Rs 315.56, the data also showed.
There are states including Goa which have zero workers as on April 30, implying no work has restarted under the job scheme in the state. While over 1,00 people received work in Haryana. Andhra Pradesh provided 10 lakh jobs.
Even as the central government recently allowed MGNREGA workers to take up jobs, it also said that they would have to ensure all necessary precautions such as maintaining social distancing and wearing masks to ensure that virus doesn't spread in rural areas.
The ministry said that MGNREGA workers involved in irrigation and water conservation would be given priority. "Other central and state sector schemes in irrigation and water conservation sectors may also be allowed to be implemented and suitably dovetailed with MGNREGA works," the new guidelines issued by the home ministry had said. The MHA also called for "strict implementation of social distancing" for all MGNREGA workers.
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