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Indira Gandhi Shahri Rozgar Guarantee Yojana

  • 24 May 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Mahatma Gandhi NREGA, Urban Local Bodies

For Mains: Indira Gandhi Shahri Rozgar Guarantee Yojana and its Components, Need of Social Security for Urban Areas

Why in News?

The Rajasthan government has come up with the job description under its much-touted Indira Gandhi Shahri Rozgar Guarantee Yojana.

  • Announcing the employment scheme for urban areas on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA for rural areas in his budget speech
  • While MGNREGA assists people in rural areas, there is no such scheme for street vendors, as well as those working at dhabas and restaurants in urban areas.

What is the Scheme?

  • About:
    • Under the scheme, 100 days of employment per year will be provided to families residing in urban areas.
    • The ratio of cost of material to payment for labour work of “general nature” will be in the ratio of 25:75, while for special works, it will be 75:25.
    • The focus is on providing as many jobs as possible.
    • On the other hand, creation of assets will require a higher material component, hence under ‘special works’ the ratio is 75:25.
  • Eligibility:
    • All those aged between 18 and 60 years and residing within urban body limits are eligible for the scheme, and in special circumstances such as a pandemic or a calamity, migrant labourers may be included.
  • Components:
    • Environmental Conservation:
      • The tree plantation in public places, maintenance of parks, watering plants on footpaths and dividers, preparing nurseries under departments of urban local bodies (ULBs), forest, horticulture and agriculture.
    • Water conservation:
      • One may undertake works for improvement of cleanliness and improvement of ponds, lakes, step-wells, etc.; construction, repair and cleaning of rainwater harvesting structures; and restoration of water sources.
    • Cleanliness and Sanitation-Related Works:
      • This includes works related to solid waste management, labour work, including door to door garbage collection and segregation, separation of waste at the dumping sites, cleanliness and upkeep of public/community toilets, cleaning of nullah/drain as well as removing waste created due to construction and demolition works.
    • Works Related to Defacement of Property:
      • This includes labour work to remove encroachments, as well as illegal boards/hoardings/banners, etc. and painting of dividers, railings, walls and other publically visible spaces.
    • Convergence:
      • People under this scheme can be employed in other centre or state level schemes, already having a material component, and which require labour work.
    • Service:
      • It includes labour work at gaushalas and ‘multitask services’ at offices of civic bodies, record keeping, etc. Also, work related to heritage conservation.
      • Miscellaneous works, such as those related to security/fencing/boundary wall/guarding of urban civic bodies and public lands; development and management of parking spots within urban civic body limits; catching and management of stray animals, etc.

Why is Social Security needed for Urban Areas?

  • Major Contributor to Economy: Urban areas is an integral part of the development process of the country. As in most countries, India's urban areas make a major contribution to the country's economy.
    • Indian cities contribute to about two-third of the economic output, host a growing share of the population and are the main recipients of FDI and the originators of innovation and technology.
  • Magnet For Businesses: The cities are a collective magnet for a great diversity of economic activities.
    • The cities attract business and people, as a result of scale and agglomeration advantages (supply of educational facilities, presence of suppliers, etc).
  • Hotbed of Social Capital:
    • The cities are a hotbed of social capital or as a ‘melting pot’ of culturally or socially diversified groups.
  • Cities are Power Centres:
    • The city is an ever-expanding power-block, which reinforces its position to the detriment of towns and villages in its hinterland.

What is the Significance of Urban Employment Schemes?

  • Ensures social inclusion by strengthening the livelihood base of rural poor.
  • It gives urban residents a statutory right to work and thereby ensures the right to life (Art 21) guaranteed under the Constitution.
    • E.g. in Madhya Pradesh, the new State government has launched the “Yuva Swabhiman Yojana”
  • It provides employment for skilled and unskilled workers among urban youth and addresses the concerns of underemployment and unemployment.
  • Such programmes can bring in much-needed public investment in towns, which, in turn, could boost local demand, improve the quality of urban infrastructure and services, restore urban commons, skill urban youth, increase the capacity of ULBs.

What are the other Initiatives by Government?

Way Forward

  • There is a need to provide livelihood safety access to urban areas.
  • An urban livelihood scheme can be launched within the existing fiscal space.
    • If not, the Union and States can provide resources together and empower the urban local bodies.
  • Setting a separate minimum wage for rural and urban areas does not cause migration to urban areas since the higher cost of living in urban areas has an offsetting effect.
  • The focus must shift from asset creation to service delivery. Restricting it to asset creation or wage-material ratios may be suboptimal in urban settings.
    • The focus should be on enhancing the quality of municipal services.

Source: IE

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