PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday hailed an employment scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for migrant workers, saying it will boost the state's efforts to generate jobs at home for people who had to return due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Modi on Saturday launched the 'Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan' with an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore for migrant workers who returned to their home states during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The prime minister launched the scheme via video conference in a village in Khagaria district of Bihar in the presence of Kumar and the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and a minister from Odisha.
Kumar, who attended the function via video conference from Telihar panchayat in Khagaria, sought exemptions in GST and Income Tax as a special assistance to promote industries in the state.
He said the Centre should increase the limit of Rs 25,000 crore fund allotted to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) to promote the sector in Bihar.
Kumar also stressed on increasing the existing banks CD (credit deposit) ratio of 43 per cent in the state by enhancing the size of annual credit plan, the issue which he had raised at a recently-held State Level Bankers Committee meeting in Patna.
The scheme will be implemented on a mission mode in 125 days in 116 districts of six states -- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha -- that received the maximum numbers of migrant workers back.
In Bihar, the scheme will be implemented in 32 out of the total 38 districts, the chief minister said.
Kumar, in his speech, highlighted that his government provided Rs 1,000 special assistance to more than 21 lakh distressed people who were stranded outside the state during the lockdown, besides running quarantine centres with proper health facilities.
He said more than 20 lakh natives of the state returned their home in more than 15,000 'Shramik Special' trains during the coronavirus crisis.
Kumar, who had an interaction with people in quarantine centres across the state via video conference, said people informed him that they suffered a lot and hence they do not want to return to other states where they were employed, instead they want to work in Bihar.
"Our government's efforts will be to ensure that no one goes outside the state in 'majboori' (compulsion) for work. We will try to give them the work in the state itself," he said.
The chief minister said people are being provided opportunities under MNREGA, road construction and other development work such as seven resolves, Jal-Jiwan-Hariyali etc.
Under the 'Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan', the Centre will spend Rs 3.43 crore per panchayat, he informed, while stating that the state government will spend Rs 2.30 crore in Telihar panchayat.