Decline in demand for MGNREGA in recent past: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference briefing media about the deliberations of the 47th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council Meeting, in Chandigarh, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday revealed that India is witnessing a drop in demand for jobs under the rural employment guarantee scheme.

"In rural areas, the demand for MGNREGA in the recent past is coming down," said Nirmala Sitharaman, referring to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, at the Parliament.

"MGNREGA is a demand-driven programme ... (and) there is a declining trend."

Nevertheless, the government sought an additional 164 billion rupees ($1.99 billion) for the programme above the budgeted 730 billion rupees for the current financial year that ends on March 31.

The MNREGA jobs programme, introduced more than 15 years ago, allows citizens to enrol for work such as building roads, digging wells or creating other rural infrastructure, and receive a minimum wage for at least 100 days each year.

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