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Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme

Context:

The Indira Gandhi Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme has rolled out in Rajasthan with the objective of providing economic support to the poor and needy families living in the cities through work to be provided on demand for 100 days in a year.

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Who are eligible to get jobs?
  2. What are the categories of tasks?
  3. Are similar schemes operative in other States?

Who are eligible to get jobs?

  • Those in the age group of 18 to 60 years residing within the limits of urban local bodies are eligible to demand and get employment in the identified segments.
  • There is no income limit, though the poor and destitute people, especially those who lost their livelihood during the pandemic, will be given preference.
  • More than 3.5 lakh people across the State have got themselves registered under the scheme so far and job cards have been issued to 2.25 lakh of them.
  • A budgetary provision of ₹800 crore, announced by Chief Minister in the State Assembly earlier this year, has been made for the scheme in 2022-23.
  • At least 50 persons in each ward of urban local bodies will be given employment and the work permitted under the scheme will be approved and executed through committees at the State, district and local body levels.
  • The State government will also reward the municipal bodies doing good work under the scheme. The cost of material and the payment for the labour for work of general nature will be in the ratio of 25:75 and will vary for special work which needs technical expertise.
  • The State government’s Department of Local Bodies will be responsible for the scheme’s implementation.

What are the categories of tasks?

  • The tasks to be carried out under the scheme have been clubbed mainly under eight heads.
    • Environment protection
    • Water conservation
    • Heritage conservation
    • Removal of encroachments
    • Removal of illegal boards
    • Removal of hoardings and banners
    • Stopping defacement of property
    • Service-related works.
  • As part of convergence, the people engaged under the employment guarantee scheme can be employed elsewhere in other schemes, already having a material component, which require the labour.
  • Eligible people will get work such as tree plantation, cleaning ponds, collecting garbage from door to door and segregating it and catching stray animals.
  • Apart from all these categories, the State government can add new tasks or amend the ones already included in the list.
  • A Jan Aadhar card, introduced by the State government, or its registration slip will be required for registration, which can be done at e-Mitra centres.
Wages:
  • While more than 31,000 muster rolls have been issued for the work, the wages will be paid at the rate of ₹259 a day to unskilled labourers and ₹283 a day to skilled labourers.
  • The ‘mates’ or supervisors on top of the labourers will get ₹271 a day.
  • Livelihood rights activists feel that though the scheme would help reduce distress among the urban population, the ultimate test of its success will be to ensure that it improves the wage rate in the labour market, which was one of the major contributions of MGNREGA.

Are similar schemes operative in other States?

  • The Rajasthan government has prepared the employment guarantee programme after studying similar such schemes operative in other States. Several States are looking favourably towards an urban version of MGNREGA.
  • These schemes include the
    • Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme in Kerala,
    • Urban Wage Employment Initiative under UNNATI in Odisha,
    • Mukhya Mantri Shramik Yojana in Jharkhand and Mukhya Mantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The demand for a job guarantee scheme in the cities is increasing because of the growing distress among the urban poor, higher unemployment rates in urban areas in comparison with villages, the persistently high inflation affecting the people and the prevalence of low-wage and poor quality informal work in urban areas.
  • Moreover, as against the rural unemployment being mostly seasonal, unemployed people in the cities face problems throughout the year.

-Source: The Hindu


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September 2022
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