Showing a continued rise in demand for unskilled work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns, the number of households that worked under the scheme crossed 6 crore between April and August this year, which is the highest ever, according to the official data.
The number of households — over 6 crore, according to the latest data available on the MGNREGA portal — that availed of MGNREGS till end of September is not only higher than last fiscal’s figure of 5.48 crore, but is also the highest since the inception of the scheme in 2006.
The previous high was recorded in 2010-11, when 5.5 crore households worked under the MGNREGA.
Out of 6 crore households that availed of MGNREGS this financial year, Uttar Pradesh accounted for the maximum (80 lakh), followed by Rajasthan (65.76 lakh), West Bengal (64 lakh), Tamil Nadu (58 lakh) and Andhra Pradesh (49 lakh).
The data also show that the number of individuals that availed of MGNREGA crossed 8.6 crore in just six months of FY 2020-21.