Naveen Patnaik’s Job Scheme For The Urban Poor

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has unveiled the ‘Urban Wage Employment Initiative’ (UWEI) scheme to come to the aid of the urban poor – those who have lost their jobs or faced a significant decline in their earnings – by engaging them in labour-intensive projects and provide immediate wages. An amount of ₹100 crores has been sanctioned for the UWEI fund.

The UWEI is of utmost significance at this moment, as almost one-third of the people living in urban areas would face economic hurdles due to the onslaught of COVID-19. In its estimates, the State Housing and Urban Development Department said that the UWEI would benefit around 4.5 lakh urban poor lodged in the informal sector, throughout the 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the state.

“To provide immediate employment opportunity to the urban poor, our CM has announced a programme which is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. Women SHGs will be involved in the successful implementation of the programme,” said Pratap Jena, the state housing and urban development minister.

The government intends to commence the programme within a week and will continue until September. The remuneration will be deposited directly into the bank account of the beneficiaries. The emolument has been decided at ₹286 per day, higher than the Centre’s MGNREGA wage rate of ₹202 a day.

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