On January 7, Meghalaya’s Bharatiya Janata Party Twitter account made a series of claims about the beneficiaries of central government schemes in the state. “Serving the nation is Modi Govt’s topmost priority!” the social media post accompanying an infographic containing the claims, read.
According to FactChecker’s analysis of official data sources, two of these claims were correct, one was partially correct, one incorrect and another one unclear.
Claim #1: Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, 21.4 lakh households received free food grains during the Covid-19 pandemic
True. There were 21.46 lakh beneficiaries of the scheme in Meghalaya till September, the central government told Parliament in December.
The central government had announced Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. It entailed free-of-cost distribution of food grains, including 5 kg of wheat and rice per person per month, to the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act over and above their regular ration card entitlements.
Claim #2: 68,136 houses were constructed under the Awas Yojana
Not true. According to data from the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban dashboard, 1,100 houses had been completed in Meghalaya by January 9. As per the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin or Rural dashboard, 34,635 houses had been completed by January 13. So the total number of houses built in the state under the scheme is 35,735.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, a housing scheme launched by the Centre, is aimed at providing affordable housing to the urban as well as rural poor. Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin is a rural housing scheme under Ministry of Rural Development and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban is taken care of by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Claim #3: 1.5 lakh households were given free gas connections under the Ujjwala Yojana
Partially true. 1.5 lakh gas connections were given in the first phase of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. However, as per recent data, 2.1 lakh connections, almost 60,000 more connections than the claim mentions, had been given in Meghalaya by the end of 2022.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was introduced by the Union government in 2016 with an objective to make clean cooking fuel, such as Liquified Petroleum Gas, available to deprived households that were otherwise using traditional cooking fuels such as firewood, coal and cow-dung cakes – which have detrimental effects on human health and the environment.
Claim #4: Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana facilitated cashless treatment for 5.2 lakh households
True. 5.2 lakh authorised hospital admissions took place under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in Meghalaya during the last three years (2019-’20 to 2021-’22), a Parliament response by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare specified in December.
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana provides health assurance of up to Rs 5 lakh per family, annually, for secondary and tertiary healthcare hospitalisations. The beneficiary families under the scheme have been identified from the Socio-Economic Caste Census of 2011 on the basis of criteria including households without shelter or living on alms, manual scavenger families, primitive tribal groups, released bonded labour, among others.
Claim #5: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act provided 3.8 lakh individuals with wage employment opportunities
Unclear. The time period for when the claim is being made has not been specified.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, a central government social security and employment scheme implemented back in the year 2006, aims to provide “at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work”.
People receiving work under the scheme in Meghalaya ranged from 5.3 lakh to 7.5 lakh individuals every year from 2018-’19 to 2022-’23. The total number of active workers in the state was 9 lakh, as per latest government data.
We have written to the Meghalaya division of the BJP via email for more clarity about the time period to which the MGNREGA claim refers. We have also enquired about any additional sources they might have used in their analysis, and we will update the story when we receive a response.
This article first appeared on FactChecker.in, a publication of the data-driven and public-interest journalism non-profit IndiaSpend.