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Jean Drèze, development economist and social activist, interviewed by Shreehari Paliath (IndiaSpend.com)

-IndiaSpend.com Bengaluru: Global economic output is expected to contract by 4.9% in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 lockdown. India announced a lockdown on March 24, 2020, which was extended over two months, and continues in pockets of states depending on the spread of the disease, which has now infected more than half a million people in the country. The lockdown impacted millions of inter-state migrant workers who form the bulwark of India’s...

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It’s raining jobs in rural India as farm economy opens up -Prashant K. Nanda

-Livemint.com * Increased government spending on the Rural Jobs programme has also aided returnee migrants * The urban job loss rate fell nearly 2 percentage points to 11.19% in the week ended 21 June over the previous week The timely arrival of the monsoon has given a much-needed boost to rural employment, absorbing thousands of migrant workers who have returned to their rural homes in seasonal farm jobs. The rural unemployment rate continued to...

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Welfare mainstay MGNREGS off to slow start this fiscal year -Saubhadra Chatterji

-Hindustan Times Less than 57% of the people who sought work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) have received jobs under the programme. At a time when millions of migrant workers who have returned home to the hinterland are looking towards it for a livelihood, the government’s flagship Rural Jobs programme has got off to a slow start in the new financial year, government data show, amid the...

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Why cash can save the Rural Jobs scheme -Reetika Khera

-Livemint.com * India is set to spend over ₹1 tn on the world’s largest rural employment programme. Can it be made to work better? * Large work sites should be opened proactively in each panchayat without waiting for applications. Anyone who shows up should be allowed to work and payments should be in cash If we get work in the village, why would we go elsewhere? We have worked on NREGA before, but...

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Centre expands social safety net programme -Elizabeth Roche

-Livemint.com * MGNREGS guarantees 100 days of work in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer for unskilled manual work * In 2019-20, which was considered a normal monsoon year without rural distress, 2.65 billion person days were created NEW DELHI: The Union government on Sunday injected an extra ₹40,000 crore into the national Rural Jobs programme, extending a helping hand to millions of rural poor, as well as...

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