Ministry of Finance, Government of India, on 26th March 2020, announced relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus. The relief package announced includes, inter-alia:
- One-time ex-gratia payment of Rs 500 per month for 3 months (April, May and June 2020) to women Jan Dhan Account holders. In pursuance of this, Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) facilitated transfer of Rs. 30944.9 crore benefiting 20.64 crore women Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) account holders under PMGKY.
- Ex-gratia of Rs.1000 in two instalments (Rs.500/- each) to the existing old age, widow and disabled/Divyangjan beneficiaries of the schemes of National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP). A total of Rs. 2814.50 crore as ex-gratia was released in two tranches in April and May, 2020 to States/UTs under PMGKY for the existing 282 lakh beneficiaries of NSAP schemes.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) wage rate revised w.e.f. 1.4.2020 with average wage rate increase of Rs.20 over the wage rate of 2019-20.
Apart from this, Government of India had launched a campaign known as Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA) of 125 days on 20th June, 2020 to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for returnee migrant workers and similarly affected citizens in rural area, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The objectives of the Abhiyaan were to provide immediate employment & livelihood opportunities to the distressed, to saturate the villages with public infrastructure and creation of livelihood assets to boost the income generation activities and enhance long term livelihood opportunities by giving focus on 25 works in 116 selected districts across 6 States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The Abhiyaan is a convergent effort of ongoing schemes of 12 Ministries/Department of Central Government.
Four schemes of the MoRD namely, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Mahatma Gandhi NREGS), Pradhan Mantri AwaasYojana- Gramin (PMAY-G), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee RURBAN Mission (SPMRM) have been identified under the GKRA. The achievement in this regard is as under:
- A total of 50.78 Crore Persondays employment has been generated during the Abhiyaan with an expenditure of Rs. 39293 crore.
- PMAY-G has sanctioned a total of 770522 houses and completed 481210 houses with a total expenditure of Rs.5618.19 crore.
- Under PMGSY, as against the target of Rs. 2902 crore, an expenditure of Rs. 1529 crore has been incurred till 30.11.2020 all across the country.
- SPMRM covered 42 districts comprising 47 Rurban Clusters in these 6 States and completed 13,494 works with an expenditure of Rs.693.55 crore by the end of GKRA implementation.
Other major steps taken by the MoRD under various schemes during the outbreak of Covid-19 are as under:
- Mahatma Gandhi NREGS which is a demand driven wage employment programme, provides at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in every financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. During FY 2020-21, a total of 389 crore person-days have been generated, which is 47% more than the employment generated during the FY 2019-20. During FY 2020-21, a total of 1.89 crore new job card have been issued and a total of 7.55 crore households have been provided employment which is 38% more than the previous financial year. During 2021-22 (as on 03.08.2021) a total of 54.8 lakh job card have been issued and 4.89 crore households have been provided employment. During the FY 2020-21, an amount of 1,11,170.86 crore has been released and during the current FY 2021-22( as on 02.08.2021), an amount of Rs. 46,152.82 crore has been released under the scheme.
- PMAY-G aims to provide assistance to eligible rural households for construction of 2.95 Crore Pucca houses with basic amenities to achieve the objective of “Housing for All” by 2022. During the period of Covid-19 pandemic, steps were taken for timely allocation of targets to the States/UTs under PMAY-G, provision of adequate funds and promotion of eco-friendly & innovative technologies for house construction, follow up with the States to ensure provision of land to landless beneficiaries in rural areas, expeditious resolution of technical issues faced by the State, advisory to all States/UTs to resume activities under PMAY-G with due Covid-19 protocol and regular review of progress at the level of Ministry to ensure timely completion of targeted houses.
- PMGSY was launched in the year 2000 as a measure towards alleviation of poverty in rural areas by providing access to basic services to the rural population by providing them good quality roads. To boost the rural economy during COVID-19 period, since 1st April 2020 till 3rd August 2021, a total of 6,621 road works measuring 50,509 km and 1,161 Long Span Bridges (LSBs) worth Rs. 4,323 crore have been sanctioned under various interventions/ verticals of PMGSY, and 7,350 road works measuring 44,893 km and 1,663 LSBs have been completed at an expenditure of Rs. 28,835 crore (including state share).
- Under SPMRM, economic growth & employment focused activities have been undertaken in all the Rurban Clusters. The Ministry also regularly emphasizes the States / UTs to align their Rurban Cluster development focus with economic themed activities as a central focus area. An advisory has been issued to the States regarding modification in existing projects/works proposed in DPR of cluster due to Covid-19 pandemic to include more economic activities in order to reboot the rural economy, speed up the progress of works on ground and ease the fund release conditions for faster and effective implementation of the Mission
- Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) aims to reduce poverty by organizing the rural poor women into Self Help Groups (SHGs), and continuously nurturing and supporting them to take economic activities till they attain appreciable increase in income over a period of time. During the year 2020-21 & 2021-22 (till June 2021), the Ministry of Rural Development under DAY-NRLM facilitated women Self Help Groups to leverage credit of Rs 92953 Crores from formal banking system for investing for continuation of their exiting economic ventures and also acquire new productive assets to start new enterprises. During the year 2020-21 & 2021-22 (till June 2021), total Capitalization Support Fund (Revolving Fund and Community Investment Fund) provided to Self Help Groups (SHG) is 4019.19 Crore. During the year 2020-21 & 2021-22 (till June 2021), 63,326 enterprises have been formed under Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP), a sub scheme under DAY-NRLM.
- There are two other skill development programmes under DAY-NRLM, namely, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY), and Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) aimed at increasing employability of rural youths for wage or self employment. Under DDU-GKY, during the FY 2020-21, a total of 33716 candidates have been trained and 49,528 candidates have been placed and in FY 2021-22 (up to June, 2021), a total of 2,691 candidates have been trained and 11,015 candidates have been placed. Under RSETI, during the FY 2020-21, a total of 255,141 candidates have been trained and 185,234 candidates have been settled and during FY 2021-22 (up to June, 2021), a total of 13,319 candidates have been trained and 19,751candidates have been settled.
This information was given by Union Minister of State for Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.