The government will provide more than 100 days of jobs guaranteed to people in villages under its flagship NREGA scheme to help mitigate any suffering caused by the drought, according to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
"...There is a thinking in the government (that) those districts, which have been declared by the respective state governments as drought-affected, there 100 days time for NREGA will be extended," he told Karan Thapar in an interview telecast on CNBC-TV18 news channel.
Asked if the period of compulsory job can be extended to 200 days a year, Pawar said: "That particular decision is not there, but the proposal (for extension from 100 days) is very much there."
Earlier last week, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, however, ruled out the possibility of raising the guarantee period under NREGA for the time being, saying it could be considered if required.
"Whether it will be adequate for 100 days or not, these are issues we can surely revisit as and when the situation demands. But the government need not just go and fix a target of 150, 160 or 180 days and at the end of the year find no takers," he had said, addressing a meeting of agriculture ministers from different states in New Delhi.
So far, 246 of 600-plus districts in the country have been declared drought hit.