Becoming front-runner in the efforts to fight job crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday said that it has engaged 57.13 lakh workers under the MGNREGA. The state has become the top state in the country to give employment under the rural employment guarantee scheme.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said that the state now accounts for 18 per cent of the total workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the country. Meanwhile, with 53.45 lakh workers engaged, Rajasthan is the state with second-highest MGNREGA employment. Rajasthan is followed by Andhra Pradesh with 36 lakh workers, West Bengal with 26 lakh and Madhya Pradesh with 23.95 lakh workers, said Awasthi.
Awasthi added that UP has generated 7.93 crore man-days. The state will provide jobs to 10 lakh more.
"These 57.13 lakh workers are engaged across 56,981 panchayats out of the total 58,000 panchayats. During a meeting to review the lockdown and coronavirus situation, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered to provide MGNREGA jobs to 10 lakh more people," Awasthi was quoted by The Indian Express.
According to officials, last financial year, the highest single-day engagement of labourers was 14 lakh. Roughly the same time this year, an average of about 9 lakh workers were engaged under the MGNREGS, officials said.
Amid the pandemic, there has been a severe job crisis and over 20 lakh migrant workers have returned to the state. There are thousands of rural households that are now relying on MGNREGA for their livelihood.
Of the total 18 lakh construction workers who have returned to the state, while 6.71 lakh are in rural areas, 8.86 lakh in urban areas, Awasthi said.