New Delhi, Sept 26: A delegation of General Secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here today, and requested him to expand the coverage of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to the entire country.
Terming that the NREGA as a landmark legislation of the UPA Government, the delegation highlighted that the passage of this Act and its implementation in many parts has been widely welcomed across the length and breadth of the country.
For the first time, the poor people of the country have been given a legally enforceable right to get minimum employment for 100 days, they said. The Act has provided relief to those in distress and made a significant difference to the lives of the rural poor who have used it to secure relief wherever they had no other source of livelihood.
Its popularity can be assessed from the widespread demand to extend it to other parts of the country. The Act itself has an inbuilt commitment to roll it out to cover the entire country.
Keeping in view the commitment made by the government under the Act and the need to provide this legal right to all citizens of the country, the Congress leaders urged the government to immediately extend the coverage of the Act to all uncovered rural areas.
This would double coverage from the current level of 330 districts to over 600 districts, they said, adding that such a measure would be in the interest of the aam aadmi, and it would reinforce this government"s commitment to eradicating poverty.
According to a Prime Minister"s Office (PMO) release, Singh assured the Congress party delegation that their request would be given serious consideration.
The delegation included Rahul Gandhi, Veerappa Moily, Ashok Gehlot, Janardan Dwivedi, Kishore Chandra Deo, Mukul Wasnik, Margaret Alva, Prithviraj Chavan, V Narayanaswamy, Satyavrat Chaturvedi and V Arun Kumar.