According to a special report published in The Indian Express, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said on Wednesday that the number of MNREGA workers in the state has increased 10 times in the last six days.
In a conversation with the newspaper, he told that till April 17, there were 62000 MNREGA workers in the state but on April 22, their number reached to 6.08 lakh. Sachin Pilot is also the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department of Rajasthan.
Sachin Pilot said that this number increased rapidly after giving some relief from Monday to the lockdown implemented due to Coronavirus.
Pilot said the only way to revive the rural economy now was through MNREGA wages. “We have made more than 99% of due payments. Our emphasis is to give them maximum individual work, rather than community work, to ensure social distancing,” he said.
The newspaper quoted the MNREGA commissioner of Maharashtra Ranga Nayak as saying that till April 12, the number of personnel under the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was 40000, so now it has increased to more than one lakh. He said they were also focusing on individual works, as large gatherings are not allowed. “But about 20% of the attendance can be attributed to community works as well,” he said.
Nayak said they had finalised about 35,000 individual works under 216 categories like digging of wells at farms, making cattle sheds, horticulture work and construction of homes under the Awas Yojana. “I have asked the staff to personally approach the beneficiaries, instead of the other way round, to pro-actively speed up works.”