Bihar government aims to ensure genuine labourers receive MGNREGS employment opportunities
Patna: The Bihar government has cancelled over 1.2 crore “inactive” job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the past year, according to state Rural Development Minister Shrawan Kumar.
In addition, the state government has issued 23.07 lakh new job cards to labourers, including 9,267 disabled individuals, in various districts of Bihar. Kumar reported on Monday that, during a drive by the Bihar Rural Development Department until April 30, a total of 1,23,13,927 job cards out of 3,85,69,626 were found to be inactive for several years. These cards were discovered to be fake, unlinked to provided Aadhaar numbers, or belonging to deceased beneficiaries in some cases.
According to the report, after proper physical verification, all such job cards were cancelled, the minister stated. Inactive cards belonging to labourers who had previously obtained MGNREGS employment and had migrated from the state were also cancelled. Kumar added that 33.04 lakh and 4.51 lakh job cards were cancelled in 2021-22 and 2020-21, respectively, while 2.25 lakh were scrapped in 2019-20.
The MGNREGS, enacted in 2005, seeks to improve the livelihood security of households in rural regions by ensuring at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year. According to the minister, the government has issued jobs to 1.26 crore cardholders in different parts of Bihar in the current financial year.
Vaishali had the highest number of cancellations in the past year, with 8,89,150 inactive job cards cancelled, followed by Patna (7,55,308), Samastipur (6,30,654), Araria (6,14,530), Darbhanga (5,79,778), Aurangabad (2,20,330), and Begusarai (3,13,696), Kumar revealed.
The Bihar government’s move to cancel inactive job cards is expected to reduce the occurrence of fraudulent job cards in the MGNREGS system and help ensure that genuine labourers receive employment opportunities.