The Modi government was reluctant on how to bring in a guaranteed job scheme for the urban poor. They were unsure about states like Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, governed by opposition parties.
Including BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh, but to their surprise these states show that it may not be an impossible task.The other six states — Kerala and West Bengal have been running their schemes since 2010. Rajasthan is the latest one to start. As we know, all these job schemes are modelled on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), providing jobs in villages.
Now Himachal Pradesh is also planning to bring a law to give a legal guarantee to its urban job scheme and the information is shared by the state’s Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj. Bharadwaj said, “We are running an urban employment scheme (Mukhya Mantri Shahri Ajeevika Guarantee Yojana), but it has no legal guarantee. Now, we will back it with an Act. A bill will be introduced in the monsoon session of the assembly in August,”. He also added, “We launched the scheme on a pilot basis, but decided to continue it after seeing growing demand from the urban poor.”
There may be an argument saying Himachal may find it easier to implement such a scheme given its population of 68.65 lakh according to 2011 Census, which is just 10 percent of lives in urban areas.Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, two big states too have also implemented such schemes for the unemployed urban workforce.So,the work offered may vary from state to state, like forest conservation, tree plantation, cleanliness and sanitation, beautification of public spaces heritage conservation, etc.Also there may be differences in the wages given by the states that are under the MGNREGS scheme.
If we see , the daily wage in Uttar Pradesh is Rs 204 while in Bihar it is Rs 292. Karnataka pays the highest MGNREGS wage of Rs 441 while Haryana pays Rs 377 to a worker.