NREGS to be implemented in Puducherry from April

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Puducherry, Feb 2: The Union Territory of Puducherry is all set to implement the Centrally-sponsored National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) from April 1 this year.

Addressing a press conference here today, Local Administration Secretary Kumarasamy and DRDA Project Director Mathew Samuel said under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, notified in September 2005, the scheme was implemented in 330 districts in the country and with the Centre notifying it in the rest of the districts, it would be implemented in Puducherry and Karaikal.

The District and Rural Development Agency (DRDA) had been assigned the task of implementing the NREGA in Puducherry district and the District Collector in Karaikal district. The process of registering the intending rural households under the scheme was scheduled to begin in the third week of this month.

The NREGA envisaged setting up of a State Employment Guarantee Council and 90 per cent of the funds for the scheme would be from the Union Government and the rest from the Puducherry administration.

Micro irrigation, land development and desilting tanks were some of the works identified under the scheme, they said.

They said under the scheme, registered rural households willing to do unskilled manual labour would get employment for 100 days in an year. The wages would be paid as per the Minimum Wages Act.

For the proper implementation of the scheme, DRDA had conducted orientation programmes for Legislators and Ministers on January 4, officials of the DRDA and local administration department on January 7 and 71 village panchayat presidents in Puducherry district and 27 village panchayat presidents in Karaikal district on January 9, they added.

They said the village panchayat presidents have been instructed to set up a five-member village monitoring committee in each village panchayat to supervise the works. The commune panchayats of Puducherry would also be involved in the scheme.

They said women opting to work and having small children would be provided with creche facility. Initially, direct cash payment would be made to them.

The DRDA was working out a mechanism to make payments through rural banks or post offices.

Eventhough the Tamil Nadu Government had fixed Rs 80 per day as the wages under the scheme, Puducherry was yet to fix the wages, they said.

UNI

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