Give Rs 600 under MGNREGA for 365 days of work, Govt told
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Give Rs 600 under MGNREGA for 365 days of work, Govt told

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New Delhi, Mar 20 : Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav on Friday demanded extending the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to give workers 365 days of work and pay Rs 600 a day for work under the work guarantee scheme.

Taking part in the discussion of Binoy Viswam's private member's resolution on "The current situation of unemployment and further action plan to address the same", Prof Yadav suggested that the government should work 365 days a year, to increase employment opportunities and income in rural areas, as it was needed. Prof Yadav said the government should understand that there was a deep relation between employment and poverty. Poverty increased with unemployment, while employment opportunities decreased in the country.

He said Rs 600 daily wages should be given under the MGNREGA. This would help fight unemployment in rural areas, he added. Rashtriya Janata Dal's Manoj Kumar Jha said the government should also pay attention to rural areas, to deal with the effects of Novel Coronavirus. Initiating the discussion, Binoy Viswam, CPI(M), asked what had happened to the Government's promise of providing two crore jobs every year. "We ask where are they?" he said during the discussion on a private Member's Bill on "The current situation of unemployment and further action plan to address the same" in the Upper House. Under this, constructive work could be done.

He said the labourers working under the MGNREGA should be connected with farming. For this, the government should pay half the wages and half the wages to the farmer. He said that ponds can be built under the MGNREGA. This can increase the ground water level. He said there were no talks of jobs as the Government was busy with privatisation and such a Government would not provide avenues for the youth. "This is not an investment-driven government, but an FDI-driven government," he added. The CPI(M) member demanded constituting of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to work with the stakeholders and could be called the Shaheed Bhagat Singh National Employment Guarantee Act. Dr Satyanarayan Jatia, BJP, agreed that such education, training and skills were imparted to the youth, so that they could get jobs.

He told the House that there were plans to create a fund for imparting training to the youth. He admitted that the gap between the rich and the poor should be bridged and said the states should take cognisance of this, as education falls in the concurrent list. Referring to Swedish author Gunnar Mrydal's description of India as a "ticking bomb", Kumar Ketkar, Congress, warned that unemployment was not just an economic question, but had social implications too. He said to prevent social and cultural explosion and suicides, he wanted that a body like Planning Commission should suggest avenues for jobs or there would be chaos and rise of anarchic forces, composed of the unemployed. (UNI)

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