MGNREGA: Indicating Reverse Migration To Rural Areas, Demand For Work Shoots Up By 89 Per Cent In April

Swarajya Staff

Apr 30, 2021, 05:29 PM | Updated 05:29 PM IST

MGNREGA workers
MGNREGA workers

Indicating a trend of reverse migration following lockdowns in several states, the demand for work by households under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) shot up by 89 per cent to 2.54 crore households in April 2021.

The demand in this month has been the highest as compared to any April since the recording of this data began in 2013. For example, the numbers stood at merely 1.34 crore households in April 2020 at a time when the first ever nationwide lockdown was at its peak.

In fact, data from the Union Rural Development Ministry claims that the count of people demanding work under the MGNREGA increased to 3.66 crore from 2 crore in April 2020.

Labour expert and Xavier Institute of Management (XLRI) professor KR Shyam Sundar told The Economic Times, “While rural incomes have dropped significantly because of a dip in trade of farm produce, urban workers are migrating to rural homes to seek work under the scheme because of a slowdown of economic activity all across India, including in smaller towns.”

The central government had allocated Rs 73,000 crore to MGNREGA for fiscal year 2021-22 but further funds could be flooded in the same as it is largely a demand-driven scheme.

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