In a letter to the Jharkhand government, Development Economist Jean Dreze, Economist Jayati Ghosh, and social activist Aruna Roy among others recommended them to follow a “transparent and consultative” pre-legislative process before finalising the Urban job guarantee scheme aimed at alleviating urban poverty.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that the state government is planning to launch a job guarantee scheme under which urban workers will be able to demand a maximum 100 days of work.
“As per the directive issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, the state government is required to publish the draft guidelines, along with requisite explanations for a minimum number of days to invite feedback from citizens The directive also requires the state government to hold consultations and solicit feedback from citizens in general, and potential beneficiaries in particular. Developing scheme guidelines informed by ground realities and experiences, will benefit the programme tremendously and will also ensure that it is implemented effectively,” said the letter.
The letter also suggested that workers whose names appear on MGNREGA job cards should not be excluded from the ambit of the urban employment guarantee “as it is suggested through news reports”. “Doing so will unnecessarily exclude deserving and vulnerable workers,” the letter further read.
The letter recommends that Urban Local Bodies (ULB) should be the main implementing agencies of the programme, and that ULBs should receive incentives for the same. “A full-time dedicated functionary at the ward level must be appointed to implement the programme, similar to a Gram Rozgar Sahayak under MGNREGA. Detailed protocols should be laid out to facilitate participatory planning of works at the ward level, thereby enabling ward residents to have a central role in deciding the works that will be undertaken in the concerned ward,” read the letter.
“We would be happy to provide all our support to the state government for this initiative,” the letter said.
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