India considering extending its flagship jobs program to workers in cities

A government official has informed that the government is planning to extend its flagship jobs program in villages to workers in cities who are left unemployed due to the COVID-19-induced lockdowns.  

“The government has been considering this idea since last year. The pandemic gave a push to this discussion,” said Sanjay Kumar, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The program will definitely give boost to the economy, said Ashima Goyal, a Professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai, and an adviser to Prime Minister Mr. Modi. 

Once given a nod, the program is likely to be introduced in smaller cities that would initially cost about 350 billion rupees ($4.8 billion), he added. The idea is to roll out the project in smaller towns because the big city projects need professional expertise while the rural program involves employing people for local public-works projects such as road-building, well-digging and reforestation, said Kumar.  

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