NEW DELHI: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi keen for greater utilisation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the chief ministers’ sub-group headed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely to recommend changes in the law. The sub-group is likely to hold final meeting this month-end to approve the recommendations, which will be submitted to the PM.
“The demands emerging out of the five brainstorming sessions with the stakeholders consist of monetary compensations to farmers for the farm labour so as to minimise the input cost in agriculture. The experts have advocated that farmers be compensated between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of the farm labour cost, which could help enhance the farmers’ income,” said a senior official of the NITI Aayog, the nodal agency for the CMs’ sub-group.
The stakeholders have also exhorted the NITI Aayog to utilise the MGNREGS funds for fencing of private agricultural land to prevent animals, particularly neelgai (blue bull), from damaging crops. Besides, they have deliberated on ways to utilise the MGNREGS funds to deal with the issue of crop residue burning seen in areas of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, western UP and MP.
“The outcome of the brainstorming sessions across the country may necessitate changes in the mandate of the flagship scheme. The government will have to examine the extent to which the changes could be effected through notifications, besides, if the need be, by taking parliamentary nod to amendments in the Act itself,” added the official.