West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday asked State government officials to step up work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) and urged them to prepare a list of migrant workers who have benefited under the scheme.

Ms. Banerjee chaired an administrative meeting with senior government officials as well as District Magistrates in six districts in south-western parts of the State and told the government officials that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic could not be sighted as an excuse for under-performance in government schemes. The Chief Minister compared the number of man days generated under the MGNREGA scheme in districts like Birbhum, Bankura and Purulia to the previous year, and said that officials would have to step up jobs being generated under the scheme.

“I know there are 20,000 migrant labourers employed in NREGA projects in Birbhum, and 17,000 in Purba Bardhaman. There should be a total consolidated figure of the entire State. Please prepare such a list,” Ms. Banerjee directed Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay at the meeting.

Millions of migrant workers have returned to West Bengal from different parts of the country due to the outbreak of the pandemic. The CM also directed officials to find out if anyone affected by cyclone Amphan was yet to receive compensation provided by the State government, and to finish the process in seven days.

The State government will transfer all the benefits to the beneficiaries of the direct benefit scheme soon, she added. Ms. Banerjee expressed concern over the poor implementation of the rural roads scheme, and urged officials to transfer benefits under the conditional cash transfer scheme for girls, such as the Kanyashree and Rupashree schemes, at the earliest.

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