The Union Ministry of Rural Development released Rs 23443.09 Cr to the states on 10 April 2017, as the first budgetary instalment for the financial year 2017-18 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The released amount also includes all the pending dues as on 31 March 2017. The money was released to ensure there is no delay in the work towards water conservation.
• This time under the MGNREGS scheme, the government is laying special focus on water conservation and water management works.
• The Rural Development ministry has also advised all the states to see that water conservation efforts are made wherever required with proper technical and scientific scrutiny.
• The ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources has also developed a set of guidelines for Mission Water Conservation that has already been shared with the states.
• Along with this, a list of 2264 water-stressed Blocks has been prepared with the help of the Water Resources ministry.
• These blocks are located in 324 districts spread across 21 states of the country.
Further, the ministry has advised the states to ensure that at least 65% per cent of the allocated amount is spent on Natural Resource Management (NRM) activities with top most priority accorded to water conservation works, especially in the regions that are drought prone and receive inadequate rainfall.
There are 155 kinds of work permissible under MGNREGS, among which almost 100 are NRM related.
Besides this, the states have been requested to ensure work availability to poor households in poor regions on a priority basis.
When: 10 April 2017