Rural employment scheme to cover entire country from today

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New Delhi, Apr 1 : The Central Government will implement the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) throughout the country from today covering the remaining 604 districts.

Union Minister for Rural Development Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had urged in a letter to all Members of Parliament (MPs) to implement the NREGS on April 1, and thereafter in some gram panchayats in their areas to bring rural areas in all the states and union territories within the ambit of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

On Monday, the minister said that the Government was open to consider extension of 100 days employment to more than one member of a rural household under the NREGA.

The scheme came into existence in 2005 and is aimed at enhancing the livelihood security in rural areas by providing 100 days of guaranteed employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

NREGA provides a strong social safety net for the vulnerable groups by providing employment opportunity, particularly in moments when other employment alternatives may not be available to the rural households and also strengthens the natural resource base of rural livelihood by promoting measures for water conservation, drought proofing, irrigation, land development, flood protection and rural connectivity, he said.

Raghuvansh Prasad had also said that the first priority would be to ensure transparent and corruption-free implementation of the flagship programme while admitting that there are leakages at different levels and even several state governments have diverted funds meant for the programme.

He also said that vigilance and monitoring committees must be properly constituted at the village and district levels and made effective. Constant verification of works and muster rolls should be undertaken to prevent malpractices in the execution of works.

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