Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Rural jobs scheme to see changes under new Minister

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The Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) in Maharashtra is set to undergo changes under its new Minister Jaykumar Rawal, who said the programme will draw from the experience of Madhya Pradesh.

Jaykumar Rawa1l-AV

He said the new model, patterned on Madhya Pradesh’s implementation of MGNREGA, will make a balance between building of assets and generation of employment.
Rawal, who took oath as Cabinet Minister on Friday, took charge of his portfolios at Vidhan Bhavan.

The BJP MLA from Dhule in north Maharashtra has been allocated EGS and Tourism. Before taking charge, Rawal visited the Siddhivianayak Temple and offered prayers to Lord Ganesh.
Speaking to a select group of media persons, Rawal, who is also Chairman of State Legislature EGC Committee, said he will change the scheme to keep pace with time and demand.

“EGS is the brainchild of Maharashtra which was later adopted by the Central Government. But, our mentality is still in 1972 when it was introduced in our State.”

“Being Chairman of the EGS Committee, I had visited Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and did an elaborate study of implementation of the scheme by them,” he added.

According to Rawal, Rajasthan spent Rs. 8,000 crore in the first year of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA).

It has spent almost Rs. 20,000 crore under the scheme during the last seven years. Madhya Pradesh, too, had spent an equal amount but Maharashtra could not spend more than Rs. 2,000 crore on the scheme, the Minister said.

“MP used 40 per cent amount of the grant that was received from the Centre for asset building, including the construction of concrete roads. Using the funds from MGNREGA, MP has built such roads in 52,000 villages,” Rawal said.

“I want to change the scheme in such a way that if a farmer from backward class constructs a well in his field under EGS, he immediately gets a water pump and electricity connection from Energy Department.”

“Similarly, anybody could plant a tree and he would get money for the tree and its upkeep. He will own the tree and can sell its fruits. This could be implemented with help from the Forest Department,” he said.

Rawal said he was given EGS because of his interest in the portfolio.

EGS intends to provide productive employment to the rural population to solve the problem of poverty and enhance their livelihood security. The scheme accommodates the essential features of MGNREGA, a Central Act.

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