In a bid to woo tribals ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Centre is planning to increase number of workdays under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) from 100 to 150 days for Scheduled Tribes (ST).
The proposal will come up before the Union Cabinet this week. According to the Cabinet note, the government plans to increase the number of days under MGNREGA to 150 for “those beneficiaries who have been granted land rights/titles under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006”, provided they have no private land and have completed 100 days of work under the scheme in that financial year.
The Rural Development Ministry, which oversees the scheme, has agreed to the Tribal Affairs Ministry’s plan for several reasons, including a bid to bring down migration and prevent tribals in the LWE areas from being “exploited by Naxalite elements”. According to the Rural Development Ministry, 1.56 lakh people will benefit from this proposal, which will have an additional financial implication of Rs 206 crore annually.