In a letter to union urban development minister Hardeep Puri, People’s Action for Employment Guarantee, (PAEG) which had worked closely in framing the MGNREGA under the UPA regime, said that the Act or urban employment guarantee scheme should ensure that one-third of the workers in the scheme are women.
Business Standard had reported on July 24 that the government is looking at an urban employment scheme which could be on the lines of Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan for returning migrants or even some form of MGNREGA but for urban unemployed.
The activists said that the wages to be paid under the Urban Employment Scheme should not be less than the urban minimum pay and there should be a provision to regularly revise wages in line with cost of living.
They said the urban local bodies should be the main agency to implement such an Act and they should be empowered to finalise the list of works undertaken in a ward.
The role of private contractors should also be curtailed and instead of contractors, the urban local bodies should themselves be made responsible for execution of works under the proposed programme.
Right to demand work, right to unemployment allowance, right to worksite facilities and right to timely payment along with compensation for delayed payment as provided in MGNREGA should be made part of the proposed urban scheme as well, the activists said.
Noted civil society activists such as Aruna Roy, Annie Raja, Nikhil Dey, and Jayati Ghosh have given their accent to the letter.