CM: Allow farm ops under MGNREGA - ECAS Punjab

CM: Allow farm ops under MGNREGA

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday asked the Centre to allow cardholders under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) work in fields during the kharif and rabi crop seasons in 2020-21 in view of the labour shortage in the state.

'Will check labour shortage'

The initiative will help mitigate the rising labour cost for farmers, promote rural employment and help in preserving food security for the nation in the time of a global crisis. — Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister

He has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to direct the Union Ministry of Rural Development to make a special case for Punjab.

Capt Amarinder said the Union Ministry of Rural Development after consulting the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare could designate a specific number of man days per acre (for paddy and wheat) that may be allowed under the MGNREGA.

He drew Modi's attention towards the problem of farm labour shortage in agricultural states, especially Punjab, as a result of the migration of labour.

"Such a situation is likely to impact agricultural operations during paddy transplantation in June, as a large proportion of workers engaged in these operations are migrant labourers from UP and Bihar," he added.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also said the state was all set to provide piped water connections to all rural households by 2022.

In a video-conference with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Chief Minister said that as of April 1, 2020, of the 1,634 habitations in which groundwater was impacted, 477 had been provided potable water, and the state was committed to provide all rural households with piped water by March 2022. This was in line with the target of the Punjab Government even before the conceptualisation of the Jal Jiwan Mission (JJM) by the Centre. The Chief Minister sought reduction in GST on treatment plants as well as purification sytem from the current 18 per cent to 5 per cent, in order to make the JJM schemes sustainable in the long run.

Captain Amarinder also urged the Union Minister to recognise the 1,449 kandi villages as 'hill areas' to reduce the beneficiary contribution, from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, for construction.

from The Tribune

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