VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh stands top in the country in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).The State contributes 14 per cent of the country’s achievement in terms of generation of person days. Buoyed by the success, officials of the Panchayat Raj and Rural Development department have written to the Centre seeking allocation of 25 per cent more person days to the State in addition to the 21 crore allocated to it in the current fiscal, in recognition to its contribution.
Speaking to TNIE, Commissioner (Panchayat Raj and Rural Development) Girija Shankar said that they have made a representation to the Centre requesting 5 crore more person days in addition to the 21 crore in the current fiscal. “The Centre is holding a meeting on Friday and we will give a presentation on our achievements in the implementation of the MGNREGS and our plan of action for the remaining nine months of the fiscal,” he informed.
The COVID-induced lockdown is the reason behind more number of workers opting for MGNREGS works. “With people in villages not going to nearby towns in search of jobs during the lockdown period, they took part in the MGNREGS works in their respective villages. Similarly, small-scale employees, particularly those working in hotels, have also turned up for MGNREGS works after hotels and other activities related to it came to a grinding halt,” Girija Shankar explained.
This apart, the reverse migration due to the Covid situation also increased the demand for jobs. “Lakhs of workers, who returned from other States, opted for MGNREGS works. Apart from giving over 2.2 lakh job cards, the officials have also activated many job cards, which remained inactive for some time due to various reasons,” he pointed out. Around 27 lakh people attended the MGNREGS works in the State on Thursday alone, Girija Shankar said.