Amid labour shortage, Punjab wants MGNREGS workers in farms
Monday, 18 May 2020 Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Monday has asked the Centre for letting labour under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) work in farm operations for both Kharif and Rabi crops during the 2020-21 in the state, as a special case, in view of the migrant labour shortage.
Farmers in Punjab are facing problems in sowing crops as majority of the labourers have returned to their hometowns due to COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers are now involving their family members to carry out tedious task of sowing crops. One of the farmers said, "Due to COVID-19, the situation of farmers and labourers has been worse. Because of corona, all the labours from Bihar have returned to their home towns. Government did arrangements for their departure. They got so scared that they returned to their places. Neither did government do any arrangements for labourers nor did they give us any financial support."
Ludhiana police deployed drone camera to monitor situation in containment zones. Drone is being used to identify violators of social distancing norms. 5,568 confirmed cases exist in the state of Punjab, with 1,557 active cases. Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-1) Deepak Pareek said, "Drone has been deployed to keep a check. People run when they see police, drone acts as a surprise."
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on June 29 replied to Home Minister Amit Shah's acceptance of Congress' Rahul Gandhi's parliament debate challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Singh said that the party is confident that Gandhi will hold his position and bring home the points that are being raised in this discussion. "Parliament is a forum for debate so let there be a debate. We are quite confident that Rahul Ji will hold his position and bring home the points that are being raised in this discussion," said Singh. Congress had earlier challenged PM Modi to speak in Parliament on Ladakh stand off with China.
An elderly woman, living with her two grandchildren at a rented house in Ludhiana and facing financial hardships due to COVID-19 pandemic, had urged Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for financial assistance. Now the CM has directed Ludhiana administration to help the family going through financial crisis. Singh has directed authorities to pay her pending and advance house rent for a year and provide free treatment for tuberculosis.
The bus terminal wore deserted look amid weekend lockdown in Punjab's Amritsar on June 13. Punjab imposed a stricter lockdown on weekends and public holidays to keep the coronavirus count in check. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh approved new guidelines of state government on June 12. The guidelines permitted restaurants for takeaway and home delivery and liquor shops to remain open till 08:00 pm on all days, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on July 4 said that the state government didn't stop the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work during the lockdown. "Several people put PIL and even went to High Court, we reply their also but we didn't stop MGNREGA. There was a time when most number of labourers worked in Chhattisgarh. We paid every labourers within 15 days, and we didn't get any complaint in regards to payment," he said.
Construction of a stadium is in full swing in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal. Area was previously illegally captured by some unidentified people. Around 3,500 MGNREGA labourers will get employment under the project. The stadium will give chance to local youth to excel in sports. Hostel facility will also be available in the stadium.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has applauded migrant labourers from Barabanki in his 'Mann Ki Baat' session. These labourers have returned to their village amid COVID-19 pandemic and now are working here under MGNREGA to restore natural form of Kalyani River. Speaking on it, MGNREGA official said, "This has encouraged us. Work is underway at Mawaiya and Haiderganj gram panchayats of Fatehpur block. Initially, it seemed we would face problem of resources and manpower but migrant and local labourers accepted the challenge and did it."
Migrant workers, who have returned to their native villages amid lockdown in Odisha's Jajpur, are getting employment under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. One of the labourers said, "I was working as a carpenter in Bihar and due to lockdown I had come back. I have been working here for last 6 days." MGNREGA scheme aims at providing livelihood security in rural areas. Recently, allocation for MGNREGA was increased by Rs 40000 crore to boost employment under economic package.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on June 9 slammed Centre for not helping the state during the pandemic. He said that Centre should help weaker states at the time of crisis. "There is a lot of demand from the Central Government but unfortunately we have not got a single ventilator from them. We are working in our limited resources. At the same time, in this corona period, the BJP is seen colored in its own color of politics," He also took a jibe at BJP on its virtual rallies by saying, "Approximately 150 crores will be spent on their virtual rally. With that money, migrant laborers could be brought back home for free." Jharkhand Chief Minister also asserted that the state government demanded increase in man-days under MGNREGA scheme during the visit of Secretary of Union Rural Development Department.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot recently launched the Raj Kaushal Portal and Online Shramik Employment Exchange through video conferencing. It is a major initiative taken by the state government..