SRINAGAR: In order to mitigate the economic hardships faced by the rural poor during COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (RDD&PR) has disbursed Rs 170 crore under MGNREGA ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr to help the workers to celebrate the occasion with fervour and joy.
The department has disbursed around Rs 183 crore to benefit the poor which have been otherwise rendered jobless due to the prevailing lockdown imposed across the country to stop the spread of the outbreak. Following the resumption and roll out of MGNREGA works since April 20, 2020, the Department has taken up more than 14000 development projects under MGNREGA which include 1670 water conservation and irrigation works, 4000 rural infrastructure works and 8300 PMAYG houses generating as many as Rs 5.28 lakh person-days in J&K.
The additional tranche of funds of Rs 170 crore disbursed with an aim to boost the rural economy stand transferred through more than 11 lakh transactions directly in a single day into the accounts of beneficiaries through electronic-Fund Management System (e-FMS) via digitally signed Fund Transfer Orders (FTOs) so that these people don’t have to venture out of their homes to collect the wages physically.
On the occasion, Secretary RDD & PR, Sheetal Nanda said, “At a time when the livelihoods of millions of people have become uncertain, the Governments of India and J&K are effectively ensuring that the people of J&K don’t face any hardships during the lockdown. Earlier, we had disbursed as many as Rs 183 crore to MGNREGA workers and now this new release of funds amounting to Rs 170 crore just a few days before Eid festival would come as another big relief to the MGNREGA workers in rural areas.”
She added that Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan has emphasized on the need for maintaining social distancing, use of masks and personal sanitation at worksites and therefore the department has also released Rs 30.75 lakh for worksite facilities including hand sanitizers, hand wash, face masks to ensure the safety of the MGNREGA workers.