Works under MGNREGA will resume in non-containment areas in an efficient manner with a focus on social distancing and use of protective face cover, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Thursday. The Centre on Wednesday issued guidelines for enforcing the second phase of coronavirus lockdown in which MGNREGA works are allowed with strict implementation of social distancing and face masks.
The Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) guarantees 100 days of wage employment to every household in rural areas in a financial year, whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
"The minister desired that MGNREGS works in non-containment areas with adequate focus on social distancing and use of protective face cover must be resumed in an efficient manner. Focus should be on creating durable assets relating to irrigation, water conservation and arresting surface run-offs," the Rural Development Ministry said in an official statement quoting Tomar.
Meanwhile, the wages given under MGNREGA have also increased and there are 13.62 crore job card holders under the scheme, out of which 8.17 crore are active job card holders.
Officials also informed that individual-oriented work under MGNREGA such as work carried out by beneficiaries belonging to SCs and STs on their own land may continue.
Similarly, the work done by women who are bread-earners of their families on their own land may also continue during the lockdown.
Tomar, reviewed the flagship schemes of the Rural Development Ministry along with top officials, and noted that more than 93,000 women members of self-help groups are engaged in manufacturing face covers, sanitizers and are running community kitchens across the country for the vulnerable sections of the rural population.