MANGALDAI, May 18 - The State P&RD Department has decided to provide free face masks to job card holding MGNREGA and agricultural labourers. This was announced by Naba Kumar Doley, the minister of the department before the media here last evening. �We are going to distribute free face masks to job card holding MGNREGA labourers as well as agriculture labourers for which we have decided to purchase 2000 pieces of face masks for the 67 panchayats of Darrang, utilising funds from the 14th Finance Commission,� said Doley. While hailing the efforts of the SHGs in making face masks, the Minister said, �Till date in Darrang district alone, 1.2 lakh face masks have been made by the SHGs under the ASRLM and these have been sold through eight sale centres across the district.�
On the other hand, regarding employment avenues for the migrated labourers returning from outside the State as well as the existing job card holder labourers under MGNREGA, the State P&RD Minister said, �A decision has been taken to engage the migrated labourers especially those who are skilled or semi-skilled in construction works. They will be registered as job card labourers under the MGNREGA and then they will be engaged for construction of incomplete houses under PMAY-Gramin.�
Meanwhile, in response to a question of this correspondent in connection with the role of government machinery in removal of the names of large numbers of MGNREGA proxy job card holders, the Minister didn�t rule out the allegation and reiterated, �Since our government came into power, we have identified and removed five lakh such fake job card holders. In Darrang district, we still have five per cent of them who will be identified and removed from the list of beneficiaries soon.� Earlier, the Minister in the presence of the MLAs of the district and department officials from the State and district P&RD office including its Principal Secretary and the Deputy Commissioner reviewed the progress of the relevant works of the department related to the COVID-19 pandemic.