Centre to announce Rs 50,000 cr. employment generation drive for migrants

The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan will focus on districts, where the maximum number of migrants have returned from the cities

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The Centre will be announcing the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA) on June 20, to provide migrant workers with employment and a source of livelihood. The scheme will focus on districts, where the maximum number of migrants have returned from the cities, including Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, East Champaran and Katihar in Bihar, Pali in Rajasthan and Ganjam in Odisha.

The initiative is expected to help recover the rural economy and also help restore some sense of normalcy in the lives of the migrants who were deeply impacted by the lockdown and the resultant shut down of all economic activities.

The scheme, which will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing, from Bihar’s Khagaria district, will cover 116 districts across six states of the country, benefitting over 6.7 million migrants. Bihar requires GKRA the most, having witnessed the maximum number of migrants returning to its villages during the lockdown.

According to the finance minister, over a span of 125 days, 25 welfare schemes will be pooled into this drive, focussing on creating assets, building houses and making facilities available for farmers, including drinking water and better roads. Needless to say, the work involved in implementation of these schemes will also provide employment to the migrants.

This job-creation drive is expected to cost about Rs 50,000 crore, and will include the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREGS), which assures 100 days of work to members of rural families. With a deluge of migrants returning from the cities to their villages without livelihood, the number of people looking for work under MGNREGS has shot up since last month.

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