Jaipur, May, 2020. Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot has said that the time of COVID-19 pandemic has proved the importance of ambitious employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA initiated by the UPA Government. At the hour of crisis, this scheme has given support to crores of people in villages throughout the country. This shows success of this scheme. In such time when people have become unemployed, MGNREGA gave them the much needed relief.Shri Gehlot was interacting with Sarpanchs, Gram Sevaks, Patwaris, BLOs, ANMs, ASHA Sahayoginis and other gram panchayat level workers, who were playing effective role as warriors in fight against corona virus, through a video conference on Saturday. 

Centre Should Increase MGNREGA Work Days To 200 Days
Shri Gehlot said, “Our demand to the Central Government is that the working days in MGNREGA be increased from 100 to 200 days per year. Besides, looking to severely hot weather, relief should be given to the workers by reducing their working hours.” He said that so far Rajasthan has been successful in combating with corona virus and the common people from village to city have extended full cooperation and have ensured to abide by the health protocol or other government advisories. He said, “Now, we are making efforts so that economic activities come back on tracks. This would ensure smooth running of the campaign saving life and livelihood can also run smoothly.” 

All Have Done Good Work With Team Spirit
Chief Minister said that the villagers along with local public representatives have extended good support in taking care of migrants during home quarantine in villages. Corona positive cases increased in many districts with return of migrants. But, well-aware people in villages handled the situation well and it remained under control. Sarpanchs, Ward Panchs to the BLOs, Gram Sevaks, Patwaris all did commendable work as a team. He said, “Fight against corona is yet not over, so there is no time to get tired of this. Still, everybody is required to get together and continue extending cooperation to each other in maintaining the arrangements.

Necessary Steps Are Being Taken For Controlling Locust
Shri Gehlot said that the state government was also fighting the attack of locusts in many districts of the state and taking necessary steps to control the damages caused by these insects. Rs. 65 crore have been given under contingency plan to maintain smooth supply of drinking water to the district administration. Every district has been allocated Rs. 50 lakh. Apart from this, Rs. 25 lakh have been approved for every assembly constituency for carrying out drinking water works as per the local needs on recommendation of MLAs. 

Important To Use of Mask And Maintain Social Distancing
The CM further stated, “To a great extent, we have succeeded in keeping the corona infection under control. It is necessary to understand the importance of wearing mask, maintaining social distance and frequently washing hands so that we remain safe in coming times. If we take health precautions then we can easily win the fight against the corona virus,” he said.

Rajasthan Is No. 1 In Giving Employment In MGNREGA
Deputy Chief Minister Shri Sachin Pilot said that Rajasthan was on the top in the entire country in proving employment through MGNREGA. As on today, approximately 42.80 lakh people have been employed in MGNREGA in Rajasthan, he said further stating that it was the highest number so far. Migrants who have come from outside of the state are also being issued job cards and being subsequently employed under the MGNREGA scheme. He said that 83% of works being sanctioned in MGNREGA were of the personal category. “Besides, employed labourers are also being paid on time, he added.

Good Use Of Contingency Plan Budget
PHED Minister Dr. BD Kalla said there would be no shortage of drinking water in the state during summers. He said that from April 1 till today 38,000 hand pumps have been repaired and 3417 new have been approved. He said available budget in contingency plan was being used for immediate disposal of drinking water related problems.
Agriculture Minister Shri Lalchand Kataria said that the agriculture department with the help of farmers is taking effective step in controlling locusts. Minister of State for Agriculture Shri Bhajan Lal Jatav said that bajra and makka seeds have been provided to farmers on time, which would give them relief in sowing.

Process Started To Recruit 2000 Doctors
Medical & Health Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma said that at present the capacity of corona testing has reached 17,650 per day and in coming days, it will become 25,000 tests per day. He said recruitment process for 2000 doctors has been started. Minister of State for Medical Shri Subhash Garg said that along with effective control on corona, the State Government has done excellent management of water, electricity, employment and agriculture including other sectors. 

Sarpanchs Praised Management Of State Government
During the conference, Bundi district’s Negad Panchayat Sarpanch Shri Narendra Singh Solanki, Bharatpur’s Ikran Panchayat Sarpanch Shri Nem Singh, Udaipur’s Sapetia Panchayat Sarpanch Shri Bhanwar Pushkarna, Jalore’s Beebalsar Panchayat Sarpanch Shri Rajendra Kumar, Jaipur’s Gadota Panchayat Sarpanch Shri Shivjiram, Banswara’s Bagidora Sarpanch Smt. Rukmani Arya, Dungarpur’s Palwada Gram Panchayat Sarpanch Shri Ramesh Chand Damor, Sriganganagar’s Farsewala Sarpanch Shri Balram Siyag, Jaisalmer’s Amarsar Gram Panchayat Sarpanch Smt. Poonam Devi Parihar, Pali’s Nimaj Gram Panchayat Sarpanch Smt. Divya Kumari, Nagaur’s Shiv Gram Panchayat Aarpanch  Shri Lalaram Annda, Pratapgarh’s Nauganva Sarpanch Shri Ramlal Meena, Sirohi’s Undara Aarpanch Shri Mahendra Kumar and Alwar’s Raikheda Aarpanch Shri Vikram Singh interacted with the Chief Minister. The public representatives praised the management of the state government in preventing spread of corona infection and dealing with the lockdown situation under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot. They said that all arrangements including testing for corona virus, treatment of patients and quarantine facilities were running smooth with the help of administration. During this crisis, the state government provided good support to the helpless, destitute and needy people by giving dry ration kits, food packets and cash assistance. Also, much relief was given to the beneficiaries of social security pension by making advance payment or to the MGNREGA workers by providing work to them in large numbers. 

Dialogue With 11,341 Participants At The Village Level
Chief Secretary Shri DB Gupta said that dialogue was held from district level to gram panchayat level for effectively dealing with COVID-19. He said that 11,341 participants had a direct dialogue with the Chief Minister during this video conference upto gram panchayat level. “The ground level feedback and suggestions received during this conference will help in preparing better strategy to fight against corona,” he added. Additional Chief Secretary Health Shri Rohit Kumar Singh gave presentation on the situation of corona infection, while Additional Chief Secretary PWD Smt. Veenu Gupta on quarantine facilities, Additional Chief Secretary Rural Development Shri Rajeshwar Singh on MGNREGA works, Principal Secretary Agriculture Shri Nareshpal Gangwar on locusts attack and Principal Secretary PHED Shri Rajesh Yadav gave presentation on drinking water supply situation. Members of the State Cabinet, Additional Chief Secretary Shri Rajeeva Swarup, Additional Chief Secretary Industry Shri Subodh Agarwal, Principal Secretary Shri Abhay Kumar, all District Collectors and officers at the Sub Division and Panchayat Samiti level were present on this occasion.