LAKHIMPUR: The All Assam Unemployed Association (AAUA) has demanded the Panchayat and Rural Development (P&RD) Minister Naba Kumar Doley to make public the number of job cards under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) which have been issued to the people who have returned to the State from other States. The organization also demanded the minister to disclose the number of such returnees to whom employment under the Act has been provided.
AAUA made these demands through a press communiqué sent to the media. In the press release, State president in-charge Dharmendra Deuri and general secretary Jiban Rajkhowa stated that the adverse situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic had severely affected the unemployed youths.
"In the past few years, lakhs of such youths in the State managed their employment without expecting government job and helped in running their families. But at present, they have once again become unemployed after losing their employment due to the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. On the other hand, almost 6 lakh youths who had been working in other States, have to suffer in search of employment after returning to the native State. The State Government, which had declared that it would provide employment to 2 lakh unemployed youths every year, has now completely failed to ensure employment for them," the press communiqué stated.
In the same press communiqué, the president-in charge and the general secretary of the organization further added that lakhs of unemployed youths in the State had got some financial relief through the MGNREGA.
"But now massive corruption has damaged the very spirit of the Act while implementing the developmental schemes. The use of tractors, excavators has deprived the job card holders of the benefits guaranteed by the Act. The Panchayat and Rural Development under the State Government has comprehensively failed to provide 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. At present, the number of registered job card holders in the State is 42,92,426 out of which only 26,05,119 job card holders have got employment while 16,87,307 have been deprived of jobs under the Act. It is observed that the declaration of the P&RD Minister with regard to providing employment to the returnees of other States has been confined to newspaper advertisement only. Under such circumstances, we demand the P&RD Minister to make public what amount of job cards under MGNREGA have already been issued to the returnees from other States and the number of such returnees to whom the employment under the Act is provided," the press communiqué asserted.
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