Govt extends rural job guarantee to entire country

Govt extends rural job guarantee to entire country


New Delhi: Two days after Congress MP Rahul Gandhi appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to extend the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to the whole country, the Centre announced its extention to all districts on 28 September.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, according to PM’s media advisor Sanjaya Baru.

The move has come at a time when there is talk of possible mid-term polls.

Rahul, who was appointed General Secretary in the latest AICC reshuffle, along with a dozen party leaders had met the Prime Minister on Wednesday to demand that the scheme, which guarantees 100 days employment to each rural household, be extended to the entire country.

The scheme, which is part of the landmark legislation undertaken by the Congress-led coalition, is currently on in 330 selected districts.

The Congress delegation had told the Prime Minister that NREGA was one of the important promises in the party manifesto and a key element of the National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA.

The delegation had said the measure would be in the interest of ‘aam aadmi´ and reinforce UPA’s commitment to banish poverty.

The Centre has planned to soon launch the ‘Aam Admi Bima Yojana’, Health Insurance Scheme for BPL Workers, National Old Age Pension and the National Policy for Farmers, while the Unorganised Sector Workers Bill has already been introduced in Parliament.