New Delhi: Rural Development Minister CP Joshi on Saturday said only 65 lakh households had got 100 days employment under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme though 10 crore people had got job cards when the programme was launched.
"When NREGA was launched 10 crore people got job cards. Of these, 4.6 crore got work. But only 65 lakh households availed of 100 days work," Joshi said.
He was speaking at a Congress party seminar on "Lawyers, Human Rights Activists and the Congress Party: Past, Present and Future".
Joshi asserted that a lot needs to be done in the field of rural employment.
One of the areas of concern was the low daily wages to unskilled labourers, he insisted, saying Kerala (Rs 125 per day) and Haryana (Rs 140 per day) were the best. He rued that
in some states daily wages were below Rs 100 per day.
Joshi, whose ministry got the highest fund allocation in the budget this year, said the fact that there were 2.6 crore unskilled manual workers in the country was a matter of
"70,000 Gram Panchayats do not have bhawans (buildings). Where will the person seeking employment go to register his name," Joshi asked.
He maintained the Girl Child Literacy was very low among the SC, ST and OBC population and unless this was addressed, benefits of empowerment schemes will be less.
Joshi enumerated naxalism, terrorism and insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir as the challenges affecting human rights in the country.
Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Congress should adopt an actionable plan at the highest level for action against terrorism in the aftermath of the recent terror
attacks. This was needed for ensuring a life of dignity, security and prosperity to the people, he added.