Government Says 271.96 Lakh People Aged 18-30 Years Employed Under MNREGA In Last Four Years
Workers labour at the construction site of a railway bridge in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Government Says 271.96 Lakh People Aged 18-30 Years Employed Under MNREGA In Last Four Years

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Over 270 lakh people in the age group of 18-30 years have been employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme in the last four years, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

In 2015-16, 72.74 lakh individuals in the age group of 18-30 years worked under the scheme and this was 10.07 percent of the total individuals that worked in the age group, according to data given by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in response to a question.

The data said in 2016-17, 69.78 lakh individuals worked under the MGNREGA scheme in the age group of 18-30 years and this was 9.10 percent of the individuals who worked under the age group, it said.

In 2017-18, 58.70 lakh individuals worked under the scheme. This was 7.73 percent of the individuals who worked under the age group of 18-30 years, the data said.

It said in 2018-19, 70.74 lakh individuals worked under the MGNREGA in the age group 18-30 years, which was 9.10 percent of the individuals who worked under this group.

The total number of individuals who worked under the MGNREGA in 2015-16 was 722.59 lakh, 766.91 lakh in 2016-17, 759.15 lakh in 2017-18 and 777.41 lakh in 2018-19.

On whether the government recognises that the average entry year in the share of workforce in the age group of 18-30 years for MGNREGA started increasing after the 2017-18, Tomar said, “No”.

“Mahatma Gandhi NREGS is a demand driven wage employment programme. It provides livelihood security i.e., fall back option for livelihood for the rural households when no better employment opportunity is available,” Tomar said. “The demand for work is influenced by various factors such as rainfall, availability of alternative and remunerative employment opportunities outside Mahatma Gandhi NREGS.”

The minister said an additional 50 days of wage employment is provided over and above 100 days in the notified drought-affected areas or natural calamity areas in the country on recommendation of the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare.

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