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New Delhi, June 29: Demand for work under the MGNREGA rose by more than 86 per cent in May this year compared to the same period in 2019 in 116 districts, which saw the highest number of migrants return during the COVID-19 lockdown, as per official data.
The number of households availing work under the national employment guarantee scheme in these 116 districts in six states, including Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, jumped to 89.83 lakh during May compared to 48.22 lakh in the same month last year, a rise of 86.3 per cent, according to data on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) website.
Demand for work in a few districts jumped by five times, it said.
Among the 116 districts are 32 districts of Bihar, 31 districts of Uttar Pradesh, 24 districts of Madhya Pradesh, 22 districts of Rajasthan, four districts of Odisha and three districts of Jharkhand.
A close analysis of the data reveals that out of these six states, the highest jump in demand for work was from Uttar Pradesh, where 27.78 lakh households in 31 districts got work in May this year compared to 6.71 lakh in the same month last year, as per the data.
The demand for work in eight of these 31 Uttar Pradesh districts — Ghazipur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Mirzapur, Deoria, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Amethi and Maharajganj — rose by 500 per cent or five times in May this year compared to same month in 2019, the data mentioned.
At the same time, the demand for MGNREGA work in the entire country during May this year also rose by 55 per cent to 3.29 crore compared to 2.12 crore last year.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched a dedicated Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan with an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore for these 116 districts, with an aim to provide employment to migrant workers.
This scheme is separate to MGNREGA which is already running across the country, which ensures 100 days of employment to every household which seeks work. It is a demand driven scheme with budgetary allocation of more than Rs one lakh crore this year. (PTI)