New Delhi: Key programmes of the rural development ministry like the housing programme or the roads scheme besides the flagship rural jobs programme have generated more than 700 crores of person days of jobs in the country in the past three years, minister for rural development Narendra Singh Tomar said on Saturday.
Addressing a press conference on the achievements of his ministry on the occasion of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government completing three years in office, Tomar said the rural housing programme had generated 98.97 crore person days in the past three years (one person working for a day makes one person day).
Similarly, the number of person days generated by the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna was 78.01 crore while the rural employment guarantee scheme was the largest employment provider with 636.78 crore person days, Tomar said.
Generating employment opportunities for people in rural areas is considered important for the Modi government, which was elected in 2014 on a development and employment-generation platform.
A statement from the rural development ministry said expenditure on rural development has steadily risen the past years from Rs58,630 crores in 2013-14 to Rs95,099 crores in 2016-17. “For the year 2017-18, the ministry of rural development targets an expenditure of Rs105,448 crores," it said.
In 2016-17, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme had provided employment to 5.04 crore households, creating more than 235 crore person days of employment. Out of the total employment generated, “56% had been generated for women which is the highest participation of women since the inception of the programme", the statement said. More than 52 lakh projects had been implemented in the same time period, it said.
In the case of the rural housing programme or the Pradhan Manti Awaas Yojna Grameen, the ministry aims to construct 51 lakh houses in 2017-18, up from the 32.1 lakh houses constructed in 2016-17, the statement said.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna or rural roads programme, the pace of construction had reached 130km a day, the highest in the past several years. Between 2014-15 and 2016-17, 120,233km of roads had been constructed, the statement added.