The Centre’s flagship scheme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), emerged as a major source of employment to wage seekers in the State during the COVID-19 pandemic and 56.87 lakh workers have completed 100 days of wage employment in Karnataka during 2020-21 against 41.09 lakh workers in 2019-20, an increase of 38.40%, under the scheme.
A sum of ₹5,903.68 crore had been spent to provide jobs under the scheme during 2020-21 against ₹4,553.98 crore in 2019-20.
The MGNREGA has been one of the main sources of avenues for the State to provide employment to migrants and others in rural areas who have been rendered jobless due to lockdown and reduced economic activity owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The daily wages under the scheme in Karnataka has been fixed at ₹289 from April 1, 2021.
Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development (RDPR) K.S. Eshwarappa told presspersons on Wednesday that 30.20 lakh households have completed 100 days of wage employment in the last fiscal year against 22.38 lakh households in 2019-20, an increase of 34.94%. A total of 14.86 core person-days of work were created in 2020-21 against 11.18 crore the previous year, an increase of 32.91%.
Expenditure incurred on providing wages was ₹3,970.94 crore in 2020-21 against ₹2,691.06 crore in 2019-20. Expenses incurred on purchase of material and administrative purposes stood at ₹1,457.52 crore and ₹163.68 crore, respectively, for the year 2020-21.
The number of works undertaken under the MGNREGA during 2020-21 was 8.66 lakh against 2.37 lakh in 2019-20. However, the number of works completed was 1.42 lakh in 2020-21 against 1.80 lakh in 2019-20.
The Minister said 2,14,093 individual household toilets and 86 community toilets have been constructed in 2020-21 under the Swachh Bharat Mission of the Centre. A total of 3,85,077 rural households have been provided piped water under the Jal Jeevan Mission of the Centre in 2020-21.