Noting that MNREGA helped arrest distress migration of people from rural areas to urban centres, Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said he will request the Finance Ministry for more funds for implementation of the improved version of the scheme in which skill development is a major component.
    
Addressing the 10th Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) Divas here, the Minister said, "We are talking about creation of quality assets and physical infrastructure but why don't we have human assets under MNREGA?"
    
Singh said the government did not want to keep MNREGA workers unskilled labourers forever and efforts would be made to turn them into skilled ones.
    
"If 30 youngsters of a village are to be trained to become physically fit for joining Armed forces, and if such a training is given by a retired security personnel for two months, why they should not be treated at the same footing as MNREGA workers' training?," he asked.
    
"He (the trainer) is creating that quality asset, which is a human asset," the Minister said, emphasising the need for infusing skill componenent in MNREGA enacted for providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household.
    
Singh said, "If we want to stop distress migration from villages, we will have to take such kind of steps."
    
Responding to some states about about delay in release of funds, the Minister hinted that in most cases, states were to blame more than the Centre as they did not follow procedures like sending audit reports while seeking money from the central government.
    
He also indicated that unspent money from one state will be sent to another state, which is in need of funds, because MNREGA is a demand-driven programme.

Latest News from India News Desk