VIJAYAWADA: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has written a letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is heading the chief ministerial panel that has been tasked with drawing up a strategy to link MGNREGS with the farm sector, stressing the need for taking up more activities of agriculture/horticulture and allied sectors under the rural job scheme in addition to the already permitted activities to reduce cost of cultivation.
The Union government should ensure that man-days required for agriculture and allied sectors be given as additional employment days besides 100 days of guaranteed employment by making additional provisions in the MGNREGA, simultaneously protecting the right of workers to work either in agriculture or other activities, without budgetary constraints and quantitative restrictions, Naidu recommended. Due to prior engagements, Naidu did not attend the panel meeting held in New Delhi on Thursday.
Earlier, some of the activities related to agriculture and allied sectors like water harvesting and drought proofing were integrated into MGNREGS. However, in the recent past due to increasing distress in the agriculture sector, the need to integrate pre-agriculture, sowing, crop harvesting and post-harvesting with the scheme has become a necessity, Naidu said in the letter.
“This will not only help farmers in timely agricultural operations but also generate more employment,” he said.
He also suggested a separate MGNREGS work calendar for agriculture and allied sectors in consultation with the farmers, clearly calculating the number of man-days required for each activity and supplement those man-days to already permitted 100 days of guaranteed employment. Naidu, in a letter on June 28, suggested some of the measures that can be considered by the subgroup of Chief Ministers. He made 41 suggestions beneficial to agriculture sector and farmers.
Meanwhile, Telangana government also stressed the need for inclusion agriculture and allied sectors in MGNREGS.