Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has demanded that the central government should pay wages to MGNREGA workers even if they don’t go out to work due to the lockdown. Gehlot said this will help lakhs of workers cope up with the economic hardships they are facing.
Speaking at a special session at ‘E-Agenda Aaj Tak’, Ashok Gehlot said, “The number of MGNREGA workers in Rajasthan has risen from 1 lakh to 12 lakh in the past few weeks. We want it to reach 30 lakh. This is a wonderful contribution of the UPA government to the country because it provides guaranteed work of 100 days, irrespective of the situation.”
Ashok Gehlot said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to industries and employers to pay wages to their workers even if they are unable to work due to the lockdown. “Acting on similar lines, the government should also pay MGNREGA wages to people even if they are unable to go out and work,” he said.
Ashok Gehlot said the economies of state governments have been “completely destroyed” due to the lockdown and they are now dependent on the Centre.
He said, however fortunately the spread of Coid-19 is relatively less in villages.
“Most of the handicraft workers are based in villages. They have been working during this period. The government too will provide some provisions for their employment. Lockdown has destroyed economy. It will take six months to a year to revive the economy,” Ashok Gehlot said.
Meanwhile, as of 8am on Saturday, a total of 2,666 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in Rajasthan. Of these 2,666 patients, 1,116 have recovered. The disease has claimed 62 lives in the state so far. The first case in Rajasthan was reported in Jaipur in the first week of March.
Rajasthan is also among the handful of states where the number of Covid-19 cases have crossed 2,500 mark.
According to list of Red, Orange and Green Zones earmarked by the central government, eight districts are under the Red Zone, 19 districts under the Orange Zone and six districts under the Green Zone.
The most-affected districts in the state are: Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota and Ajmer.
Speaking overall about the country, as of 8am on Saturday, the total number of Covid-19 cases touched 37,336, of which 9,951 have recovered and 1,218 have died.