Free Press Journal

NDA to bring broad changes in MNREGA


New Delhi: The NDA government has decided to bring broad changes in the rural job guarantee scheme launched by UPA by proposing at least Rs 25,000 crore of investment into agriculture alone.

The Rural Development Ministry has proposed to bring amendment to the Schedule I of the MNREGA Act “to clearly bring forth the focus on agriculture”. It has proposed to add provisions after Para 4 (2) of Schedule I of the Act.

“The works taken up under MNREGA shall enhance productivity in agriculture by creating infrastructure helpful for agriculture,” says the ministry in a note sent to all states seeking their suggestions on the matter.

The states have been asked to respond before June 23.

According to the proposal, the district programme coordinator shall ensure that at least 60 per cent of the works to be taken up in a district in terms of cost shall be for creation of productive assets linked to agriculture and allied activities through development of land, water and trees.

“This is expected to bring at least Rs 25,000 crore of investment into agriculture,” says the ministry note.

The government has suggested new solutions to address the issues including poor asset quality, absence of adequate technical staff for planning/supervision and lack of outcome orientation in the works being carried out under the MNREGA.

“A special provision of 3 per cent of the value of works done will be created for provision of technical supervision for the works. This amount will be used to deploy required technical manpower to guide in the planning and execution,” the note says.