Include Chhattisgarh in Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan: CM Baghel to PM Modi

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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has demanded that the Centre includes all of the state’s districts in the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rs 50,000 crore central rural employment generation scheme on Saturday. It is aimed at creating livelihoods for thousands of jobless migrant workers who moved back from the cities to their home villages during the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The scheme will cover 116 districts across six states – Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan , Jharkhand and Odisha -and offers 125 days of employment.

In a letter written to the prime minister, Bhupesh Baghel said that even though Chhattisgarh’s neighbouring states ( MP, Jharkhand and Odisha) have been included in the scheme, his state has been excluded despite having similarities in terms of geographical, economical and social scenario with these states.

“The states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Orissa have been included but Chhattisgarh has not been included in the scheme. By incorporating all the districts of Chhattisgarh, all the migrant labourers of the state will get employment and self-employment opportunities according to their interest and skills for earning,” he stated.

The chief minister further said that the entire nation is badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Labourers, who earn their livelihood on a day-to-day basis, are the most affected due to the crisis. Migrant labourers have returned to their home states as employment avenues have shut down in places where they had gone for jobs. So far, over 5 lakh migrant labourers have returned to Chhattisgarh and the number is still increasing.

He further wrote that about three-fourths of the state is extremely backward.

“About 90 per cent of the total population of Chhattisgarh depends on agriculture and labour work for livelihood comprising unorganised sector, agricultural labourers and marginalised farmers. Bastar and Sarguja division of Chhattisgarh are tribal-dominated and there are also 10 aspirational districts in the state,” CM said in his letter.

The Chief Minister requested that all the districts of Chhattisgarh be immediately included in the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan to facilitate employment and self-employment of all migrant labourers of the state may have opportunities to earn a living according to their interest and skills.

Bhupesh Baghel has been writing letters to central ministers and the prime minister in the last couple of months related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week, he wrote to Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, urging him to expedite the tardy construction work of national highways (NH) that pass through the state and convert some state highways into NH.

He also wrote to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, asking the Centre to allow state governments to avail the additional borrowing limit of 2% and enhance their resources during the Covid-19 crisis without any conditions.

Last month during the nationwide lockdown, the CM had written a letter to PM Modi in which he had suggested that state governments should be entitled to decide which areas should be kept under three zones- Red, Orange and Green – which, at that time, were being classified by the central government.

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