Odisha CM seeks PM’s nod to utilise MGNREGA fund to provide 21-day allowance to workers

Bhubaneswar: In view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, a containment measure taken by the Centre to prevent spread of deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow the State government to provide unemployment allowance to MNNREGA workers during the lockdown period while utilising the MNNREGA fund.

In a letter to the PM, the Chief Minister stated there are 36,10,797 active workers in Odisha during the current year who have been deprived of getting work under MGNREGA due to the 21 days’ lockdown.

Patnaik requested the PM to allow the State government to utilise Rs 380.39 crore from the MGNREGA fund to provide the unemployment allowance for 21 days.

“To protect their livelihood, an amount of Rs 380.39 crore which is one fourth of the wage rate as per the MGNREG Act may be sanctioned as unemployment allowances that will certainly help them to mitigate their sufferings during this lockdown period as we are not in a position to give them work,” the letter wrote.

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