New Delhi: Government has stepped up the allocation for its flagship programme rural employment scheme NREGA by over 65% to Rs26,500 crore.
The provision for additional Rs10,500 crore was made in the first batch of supplementary demands for grant, which was approved by the Lok Sabha yesterday.
The amount has been provided, “to meet the additional requirement of the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) scheme,” stated the Supplementary demand for grants.
The NREG Act 2005 provides a legal guarantee of at least 100 days of wage employment in every financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
The government implemented the Act in 200 districts in the country in the phase I of its implementation launched on 2 February, 2006. It was to cover the remaining districts within a period of five years.
Under phase II, 130 additional districts were notified and brought under its ambit with effect from 1 April, 2007.
Under the programme, so far 293.46 lakh jobs have been provided to households.
The additional grant assumes importance in the wake of unfolding financial events across the globe. The additional allocation would help in mitigating the impact of the resultant slowdown in the economy due to the current global financial crisis being witnessed in the world.
Earlier, while speaking in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said the government had already stepped up the public expenditure in anticipation of a slowdown, which would now act as an “important part of the solution” for the crisis.