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Won’t restrict rural job scheme to 2,000 blocks: Rural Development Minister

Birender Singh said that Rs 40,000 crore allocation for the rural job scheme was not for any specific region.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
November 12, 2014 3:23:08 am

Allaying fears about the NDA government’s move to dilute the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, new Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh on Tuesday indicated that his government may not restrict the scheme to just the 2,000 backward blocks.

Singh, who took charge as Minister for Rural development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation on Tuesday, said that Rs 40,000 crore allocation for the rural job scheme was not for any specific region.

“In this country, there are people who had never seen a Rs 500 note. The poorest of the poor… we have been able to reach them through MNREGA… Rs 40,000 crore component is for the country and not for any specific region,” he said, responding to questions on his predecessor Nitin Gadkari’s plans to water down the scheme. Singh, however, did say he would “correct” any lacunae in the scheme’s implementation. MNREGA promises a 100 days of employment every year to each rural household. Talking about his government’s move to amend the new Land Acquisition Act, Singh said efforts will be made to evolve a consensus on the issue, adding the government was not against industrialisation but the interests of the farmers should not be compromised at any cost.

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