BHUBANESWAR: The State government will soon launch a wage scheme for creating employment opportunities for the urban poor, informal and migrant labourers. Titled as Mukhyamantri Karma Tatpara Abhiyan (MUKTA), the initiative would be on the lines of national rural employment guarantee scheme and help create ecologically sustainable and climate resilient community assets.
Sources said the State government had introduced the urban wage employment initiative in April last year to provide rapid and immediate employment to urban poor after they were rendered jobless due to the lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak. While 13 lakh mandays were generated, sustainable livelihood opportunities were provided to 3.5 lakh urban poor, 40 per cent of whom were women, under the scheme and more than 6,000 projects worth Rs 70 crore completed in the last nine months.
A senior official of the Housing and Urban Development department, which will implement the MUKTA scheme, said the ongoing temporary wage employment initiative will be converted into a full-fledged one. “The informal workforce in the State’s 114 urban local bodies will be benefited from the scheme which will empower women, self-help groups and slum development associations. The wages of the beneficiaries will be directly credited into their bank accounts,” he said.
As part of the scheme, community centres, Parichaya centres and Mission Shakti Gruhas will be built and activities like storm water drainage and rainwater harvesting, peripheral development around water bodies, sanitation, increase in green cover and beautification and open space development undertaken. An estimated 35 lakh mandays per year will be generated under the scheme.
“The initiative will strengthen the capacity of community organisations of the urban poor to execute the scheme activities by reducing their economic vulnerabilities. It will create community assets worth more than Rs 150 crore primarily in the form of Parichaya centres and Mission Shakti Gruhas,” the officer added.
The State Government had dedicated a fund amounting to Rs 200 crore under UNNATI scheme for disbursement of wages to beneficiaries in 2020-21. Funds worth Rs 130 crore available under the scheme will be spent in 2021-22 and from 2022-23 onwards there will be a separate budgetary provision for MUKTA.