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India to spend US$6.6b for jobs in villages

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Millions of laborers undertook often perilous journeys to get to their homes in rural villages, with some forced to walk thousand of miles, after the country's strict lockdown, announced with a four-hour notice on March 24, wiped out their jobs.

[NEW DELHI] India's federal government said it will spend US$6.6 billion on creating temporary jobs in villages for millions of migrant workers who left cities after a nationwide lockdown was put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The 125-day jobs programme will be launched in villages across 116 districts in the six states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar, which is scheduled to go for polls in coming months.

India plans to provide employment to migrant workers and create rural infrastructure through the plan, according to statement issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration.

It's part of India's US$265 billion package to support an economy that's headed for its first full-year contraction in more than four decades. Millions of laborers undertook often perilous journeys to get to their homes in rural villages, with some forced to walk thousand of miles, after the country's strict lockdown, announced with a four-hour notice on March 24, wiped out their jobs.

Details of the job guarantee programme will be announced on June 20, according to the government statement.

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