Image for representation purposes only. | Photo credit: Ramesh Sharma
The central government is likely to increase its allocation to the Ministry of Rural Development by 18% to ₹1.60 trillion ($14.19 billion) for the current financial year, in part to bolster its employment programme, an official said. prominent government source. Reuters.
India had allocated ₹1.36 trillion for 2022/23 for various programs in the hinterland, but stress in rural areas has led to increased demand for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or MNREGA, the only minimum job guarantee program in the country, which pays $2 to $3 a day.
The additional funds will be used to bolster jobs and affordable housing programs in the fiscal year ending March 2023, said the official, who declined to be named as information has not yet been released. made public.
India’s finance and rural development ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The government initially earmarked ₹730 billion for the employment scheme and ₹200 billion for the housing scheme. It has already spent ₹632.6 billion on the jobs scheme, according to the Ministry of Rural Development website.
Coming out of the pandemic, rural areas in the Asian country were under pressure, with rising prices and limited off-farm employment opportunities, forcing more people to enroll in the government employment scheme.
The rural unemployment rate has remained above 7% for the majority of the months of the current fiscal year which started on April 1, according to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a private think tank .
The rural unemployment rate was 8.04% in October, according to the CMIE.
The government will likely seek approval for these additional funds during the next parliamentary session, which begins on December 7.