Despite lockdown, Chhattigarh's rural economy strong: Govt

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Despite lockdown, Chhattigarh's rural economy strong: Govt
Raipur, May 7 () Despite the lockdown, the ruraleconomy of Chhattisgarh remains strong due to extensive worksstarted under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural EmploymentGuarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) across the state, a governmentofficial has said.

Labourers have been taking all precautions againstcoronavirus by wearing face masks or covering their faces withscarves, maintaining physical distance and regularly washingtheir hands while working on the field, he said.

Chhattisgarh has so far recorded 59 COVID-19 cases.These cases have been reported from seven out of the total 28districts of the state.

"In April alone, 10.24 lakh MGNREGA job-card holderfamilies were provided employment of 1.23 crore man-days.Wages worth Rs 548.41 crore have been paid to labourers inApril for the ongoing and previous works," a state publicrelations official said.

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As per statistics released by the Union RuralDevelopment Ministry on April 29, Chhattisgarh is leading inthe country in terms of providing employment to villagersunder MGNREGA during the lockdown, he said.

State Panchayat and Rural Development Minister T SSingh Deo had instructed to start works extensively underMGNREGA in a bid to save the rural economy and protectlivelihood of rural people while complying with precautionaryprotocols to check the spread of COVID-19, he said.

Due to the activeness of field staff and villagesarpanchs (village heads), the number of workers employedunder MGNREGA increased from 57,536 on April 1 to 19,85,166 onApril 30, the official said, adding that the process ofpayment of wages was being done immediately.

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"MGNREGA is not only providing wages to villagers, butalso making them free of employment concerns during thisperiod of crisis," he added.

Some migrant labourers who recently returned to theirnative villages in the state from different parts of thecountry tested positive for COVID-19.

Therefore, all workers under MGNREGA have been advisedto strictly follow the safety protocols to protect themselvesfrom contracting the infection, the official said.

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Besides, officials are regularly inspecting theworkplaces to ensure protocols are strictly followed, he said.

Chhattisgarh has so far reported 59 COVID-19 cases. Nodeath due to the disease has been reported in the state.

Till now, 36 patients have been discharged afterrecovery, according to official figures. TKPGK GK
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