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July 03, 2020

Covid 19 Period “Cash for Work” Scheme in Rural Areas

By Lokethar

Recently there appeared an Article in the Global New Light of Myanmar regarding the Covid 19 Period “Cash for Work” scheme for people in the rural areas. It’s a very timely venture by the Department of Rural Development to help the rural people to tide over the Corona Virus 19 Pandemic in Myanmar. The scheme would provide them with an opportunity to earn incomes when the rural wage employment prospect is rather bleak. At the same time the outcome will contribute in no small way to rural development. However, I would if I may, like to make some suggestions regarding implementation of the scheme.
The first point is that the scheme will need considerable preparation as to what type of “Work” will address the income as well as the objective of Rural Development. For example the “Work” could be for village access road betterment or making available water for human consumption or improving sanitation or direct agricultural activities and so on. It would of course be better if the concerned rural people are consulted about the “Work” to be performed.
The second point is the Supervision of the work so that it is well done and would contribute to development of the village/towns it is undertaken in. The Supervision should be the responsibility of the village/town administrative organ with technical advise preferably by the professionals at the Township level DoRD or hired Professionals on a daily or project period basis. They must submit on a regular basis, the status/progress of the “Work” being undertaken.
The third point is that the “Workers” must conform to Directives of the Ministries concerned regarding “Child Labour” and “Forced Labour” prevention, both of which Myanmar is comvmitted to. The fourth point is the provision of the implements and accessories required for undertaking the “Work” effectively and safely.
The fifth point is the payments of the Cash to be made directly to the “Workers” and there should be transparency in the process.
The last point is to keep proper records of the “Workers” and “Work” performed for the sake of transparency and for reference purposes. Perhaps some future Researcher of the scheme would need the data. My apologies if what I suggested has been “Showing the Waterway to the King Crocodile”.

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