The flood-hit state of Kerala finds itself in great economic difficulty and therefore one of the most important and urgent interventions to be made by the nation-state is towards guaranteeing employment to its people.
It is in this context that the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has appealed to the government to ensure that the minimum guaranteed days of employment under MGNREGA be increased to 200 days in a year.
He asserted that such a move would enable the state to stand back on its feet and will facilitate the rehabilitation of its flood-hit population.
Rahul Gandhi addressed a letter to the rural development minister Narendra Singh Tomar and reminded him of the fact that under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA natural calamities) similar interventions had been made in calamity hit regions over the last couple of decades.
RAHUL GANDHI HAS APPEALED TO THE GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE THAT THE MINIMUM GUARANTEED DAYS OF EMPLOYMENT UNDER MGNREGA BE INCREASED TO 200 DAYS IN A YEAR.
It is to be noted that this year, Kerala has been hit by one of the worst floods in its history. The heavy rains have brought about landslides and left thousands of people homeless and without any financial support to sustain themselves.
Under this situation, the increase in the number of days of employment under the MGNREGA scheme would really prove beneficial for the people of Kerala.
It is to be noted that Section 3(4) of the MGREGA Act,2005 empowers the government and gives it the power to increase the number of days of employment beyond the guaranteed period.
This provision is especially beneficial for regions that have been hit by calamities, as it would help its people get ensured employment in order to sustain themselves. In its annual budget, the government had also announced its plans of increasing the minimum guaranteed days of employment to 150 days per year.
It will remain to be seen whether the present government takes the appeal made by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seriously and increase the minimum days of employment for the flood-hit population of Kerala.