Rural job scheme to be extended across country: PMO

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New Delhi, Sep 28 (UNI) Barely two days after the intervention of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, the Centre today announced that the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) scheme, the flagship programme of the UPA, would be implemented across the country.

The decision was taken at a meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh to discuss the scheme, a PMO spokesman said.

On Wednesday, Mr Gandhi and other AICC General Secretaries had called on Dr Singh and sought the implementation of the scheme, under which rural households are provided unskilled work for at least 100 days a year on minimum wages, throughout the country.

Mr Chidambaram, in his 2007-08 Budget, had announced that the scheme would be expanded from 200 districts to 330 districts.

There are 612 districts in the country.

The Government has proposed to make an initial allocation of Rs 12,000 crore (including NER component) for the NREGS. The scheme was launched on February 2, 2006.

NREGS is a demand-driven scheme carrying a legal guarantee of employment and that the budget allocation for it would have to be supplemented according to need.

In addition, a sum of Rs.2,800 crore would be provided for Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) for rural employment in the districts not covered by NREGS. Besides, the allocation for Swaranjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) would be increased to Rs 1,800 crore (including NER component) this fiscal from Rs 1,200 crore in the previous year to strengthen it.

UNI

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