Economy

Eyeing rural votes, Govt offers more concessions under rural jobs scheme

| Updated on: Dec 16, 2013

With an eye on the 2014 General Elections, the Rural Development Ministry has come up with major changes to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Compensation for scheme workers in case of delay in payment, assistance for buildings for women self-help federations, and Rs 10,000 for constructing toilets for all job card holders were some of the measures that Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh announced on Monday.

Jairam Ramesh told reporters here that every job card holder under the scheme will entitled to Rs 10,000 to build an individual toilet. The Minister, a votary of stopping the practice of open defecation, said the scheme will help “a universe of people.”

At present, a job card holder can avail Rs 4,500 to build a toilet.

The Minister has also announced that the Centre will provide assistance for the construction of buildings for women self-help federations. To provide these assistances, the Ministry has made changes to the Schedule I and Schedule II of the scheme .

Convergence The Centre has also decided to converge the jobs scheme with the Indira Awas Yojana and other housing schemes for the poor. To link the MGNREGS with the Food Security Scheme, the Ministry has also proposed to allow the building of community storage facilities for agriculture produce in gram panchayats under the scheme.

Ramesh claimed that steps are being taken to avoid delay in the MNREGA payment. He said if wages are delayed beyond 15 days, compensation at 0.05 per cent of wage per day of delay will be paid and this amount will be deducted from the salary of the responsible personnel.

Ramesh said States have to be blamed for the delay in payment of unemployment allowance. “It is sad that in the past seven years, not a single person has received unemployment allowance in India. They are entitled to receive this allowance according to the government,” Ramesh said.

> jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 13, 2018

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