On Thursday, the Prime Minister's Office in a statement said that the "Government of India has decided to launch a massive rural public works scheme 'Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan' to empower and provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens."
This Abhiyaan will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 20 June at 11 am from Telihar Village of Bihar's Khagaria district. It will be launched via video conference in the presence of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.
The villages across 116 districts in six states altogether will join this programme on 20 June virtually through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras.
"This campaign of 125 days, which will work in mission mode, will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide employment to the migrant workers on one hand and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country on the other hand, with a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crore," the statement issued by PMO said.
The 116 districts with more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers across six states, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign which includes 27 aspirational districts. These districts are estimated to cover about 2/3 of such migrant workers, the government said.
It will be a coordinated between 12 different ministries/departments: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture.
The Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, though not specified in the government's statement, is likely to be run in tandem with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme that allows for 100 days of work for members of rural households. The MGNRE scheme had recently seen record enrolments in rural areas after the large scale migration of workers from cities and towns to rural areas, due to the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Last month, the government had announced an additional Rs 40,000 crore as part of its COVID-19 relief package for rural jobs.