In a major development, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday announced an increase of Rs 40,000 crores in allocation for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to provide employment boost. It is to be noted that budget estimate for MNREGA was Rs 61,500 crore
Addressing a press conference to announce the fifth and final tranch of 20 lakh crore economic package to fight COVID-19, Sitharaman expressed hope that the increase in MNGREGA fund allocation will help generate nearly 300 crore person-days in total. She also added that the Centre is committed to generating more employment opportunities for returning migrant workers in the monsoon season as well.
During the press conference, Sitharaman also outlined what the Centre has done in the past two months in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
The seven measures announced today were:
1. MNREGA2. Health – rural and urban, including education3. Businesses and COVID-194. Decriminalization of Companies Act5. Ease Of Doing Business6. Public Sector Enterprises7. State governments & related resources
Finance Minister also highlighted the steps taken by the Centre in the health sector in the past two months since the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, adding that “Government has committed Rs 15,000 crore for health-related measures so far for containment of COVID19 which includes Rs 50 lakh insurance per person for health professionals under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.”