Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi wants an urban job scheme on the lines of MGNREGS, started in 2006 through legislation and yearly budgetary allocation for which is around Rs 40,000 crore.
The proposal, sent by his urban development department, is with the ministry of urban development and poverty alleviation.
“We are urbanising very fast and migration to cities is creating a huge employment gap. An NREGA-like programme would come to the rescue of the less advantaged urban poor,” said additional chief secretary BK Sinha in his letter.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission deals chiefly with urban infrastructure and has no job creation plan worth the name. Gujarat, which is going through a phase of urban makeover, wants to utilise job schemes for “renewal and revitalisation projects”.
Ahmedabad and Surat have large slums, mostly inhabited by Muslims. It is this “risk of urban decay” and “low quality of life” the state wants to correct through the job scheme.
“The proposal is good (but) it requires more than a job guarantee scheme to address the issue of urban poverty,” said sociologist Shiv Visvanathan.