A report in Live Mint informs that an additional allocation of Rs40,000 crore to the rural jobs scheme, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, had helped create nearly 3.12 trillion person days of work, which in turn sustained millions of migrants who returned home to their villages from urban centres in the wake of the lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

In the Budget for 2020-21, the Centre had allocated Rs61,500 crore to the rural jobs programme, seen as a lifeline for poor farmers and farm labourers in times of drought and bad monsoon which would otherwise trigger distress migration.

According to the Economic Survey for fiscal 2020-21, a total of “311.92 crore person-days have been generated” under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

These visionary initiatives of PM Modi helped to ameliorate the conditions of huge job loss for the poor in wake of the lock down restrictions to curb the spread of the deadly pandemic Covid-19.

Generating rural employment curbs distress migration from rural areas due to natural calamities like drought, which makes small land holding farmers also look for employment in urban areas for additional source of income to sustain their families.

Farm laboures are left high and dry in bad monsoon seasons with no employment in rural areas, so PM Modi’s fillip to generate employment through MGNREGS has helped the poor to cope in difficult times when there are restrictions in urban employment for the poor due to the pandemic problems.

News source: Economic Survey: Allocation to rural jobs programme highest ever at Rs1.1 trln (livemint.com)

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