Jharkhand to Modify MGNREGA Rules to Provide Work to Returning Migrants

The Centre on Wednesday relaxed lockdown guidelines enabling states to bring back people stranded at different places across the country.

Ranchi: The Jharkhand government on Thursday said it would bring in new guidelines to widen the scope of work under the MGNREGA to provide jobs to migrant workers returning homes, and sent buses to West Bengal for bringing back people of the state stranded there due to the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

Chief minister Hemant Soren has observed that approximately five lakh labourers are held up in different parts of the country due to the nationwide shutdown and ensuring livelihood to them at home will be a tough challenge.

During a video conference with MLAs and MPs of Palamau and Kolhan divisions, Soren informed them that preparations are underway to bring back students and migrant workers stranded in different states.

“Buses were dispatched to West Bengal to bring back stranded labourers who have completed quarantine in government facilities,” an official release said.

These buses are also transporting labourers of West Bengal who have been quarantined in Sahibganj district of Jharkhand, the release said.

The Centre on Wednesday relaxed the lockdown guidelines enabling the states to bring back people stranded at different places across the country.

“The state government will make efforts to provide work to labourers and it is preparing karya yojana (work schemes)…the government is preparing a new guideline for MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) to generate work so that labourers can get work in their villages,” an official release said quoting Soren’s video conference with MPs/MLAs.

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Nodal officers have been appointed to carry out the process of return of migrants, he informed them and sought their suggestion for the same.

“We have to bring them back safely and defeat coronavirus,” Soren said and appealed to lawmakers and legislators to assure the migrant workers that they will definitely be brought back.

A day before May 1 (labour day), Soren sought to reach out to the migrant workers, asking them to have patience and said the government is reaching them with the support of big social institutions.

He said representatives of the people should alert officials about those coming from outside so that the infection could be contained.

Soren lauded all the frontline workers in their fight against the virus.

Referring to the recent thunderstorm that hit various districts in the state, Soren assured farmers that they will be paid compensation if their crops have been damaged.

He also urged the MPs/MLAs to ensure uninterrupted regular vaccination of children even during the lockdown.

Participating in the video conference, Independent MLA from Jamshedpur (East) Saryu Roy called upon the Centre to assist the state in bringing back its people as better results would come if everyone work in unison.