Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lok Satta wants NREGS linkage with agriculture

The Lok Satta Party today suggested that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) be extended to cover the crisis-ridden agriculture and allied sectors.

In a media statement, Lok Satta Party Working President D. V. V. S. Varma said that a 42 percent increase in wages in Andhra Pradesh (against 19 percent at the national level) following implementation of the MGNREGS has caused undue hardship to farmers. With agriculture becoming a losing proposition because of the escalation in the costs of cultivation and depressed market prices, a number of farmers in Andhra Pradesh have declared a crop holiday this khariff.

The Union Government, which is planning to tweak the scheme, could link it up with farming and take it up as a pilot project in Andhra Pradesh to provide some relief to farmers and tenants.

Mr. Varma said that the Government should also encourage mechanization of agriculture especially in small holdings.

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