WB created nearly 31 cr mandays so far this fiscal: Minister

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Kolkata, Nov 9 (PTI) Bengal has so far created nearly 31 crore mandays this fiscal under the MGNREGA scheme, and the feat was achieved amid the pandemic, as the government made sure that workers who returned during the lockdown were included in the programme, a state minister said on Monday.

Subrata Mukherjee, the state panchayat minister, also said that the Centre has asked his department to stop allotting mandays as Bengal has surpassed its target.

Work, however, cannot be put on hold, he insisted.

'We have almost created 31 crore mandays. This is a feat which we achieved at a time when the entire world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. It was possible because we included migrant workers in the scheme,' Mukherjee told PTI.

He said the state government would continue to create jobs for the labourers.

'The Centre has asked us to stop allotting work, but we will continue creating more mandays as now our priority is to provide jobs to the migrant workers who have returned to the state during the lockdown,' the minister asserted.

According to a senior official of the state Panchayat and Rural Development Department, the average daily wage rate has gone up to Rs 192.19 in the ongoing 2020-21 fiscal from Rs 178.62 in 2019-20.

'We took all measures to ensure that migrant labourers get work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. Our focus was also on the state's rural population, and we successfully managed to involve both and achieve this feat,' the official said. PTI SCH RMS RMS