The Kerala Cabinet approved a scheme to ensure those employed under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme(MGNREGS) in the poll-bound state get benefits like pension and medical assistance. It has recommended that governor Arif Mohammad Khan issue an ordinance in this regard. With this, Kerala became the first state to have a welfare board for the beneficiaries of employment guarantee programmes in the country. At least 26.71 lakh labourers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee programme and 2.5 lakh workers of the Ayyankali Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme will receive the benefits of the newly formed welfare board.
How It Will Be Done:
The state government and local bodies will give an equal contribution and ₹50 will be deducted from a worker’s salary every month for it.
Those who are between 18 and 55 can register for membership and they can submit their contribution every month or on yearly basis. People aged up to 75 are eligible for employment under MGNREGS.
Significance of This Move:
- Besides retirement benefits, the workers will get the festival allowances and other facilities.
- An estimated 1.2 million people are employed under MGNREGS in the state. Workers aged over 60, who have contributed ₹50 monthly for the scheme for at least five years, will be eligible for the benefits.
- The families of those who have contributed for over 10 years will get the benefits in case of their death.
- The scheme seeks to also provide educational assistance to the children of MGNREGS workers and funds for their marriages.