CMs panel to link farm sector with MGNREGA

CMs panel to link farm sector with MGNREGA

In picture: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI photo.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will head a chief ministerial panel that has been tasked with drawing up a strategy to link the rural jobs scheme MGNREGA with the farm sector.

In his closing remarks at the Niti Ayog Governing Council meet here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Chouhan, and Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar (Bihar), P K Chamling (Sikkim), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and N Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh) to make recommendations on a coordinated policy approach to 'agriculture and MNREGA,' including both pre-sowing, and post-harvest phases.

NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the terms of reference for the chief ministerial panel will be issued on Monday.

The prime minister expressed concern over low corporate investment in the agriculture sector and wanted states to formulate policies that promote corporate investment in areas such as warehousing, transportation, value addition and food processing.

The government has already linked MGNREGA works with agriculture and allied activities with a focus on creating durable assets such as farm-ponds and check dams. The chief ministerial panel is expected to explore ways of linking MGNREGA for creating storage infrastructure.

At the meeting, chief ministers pitched for an integrated approach towards agriculture and asked the Centre to allow states to have flexibility in the implementation of centrally sponsored schemes.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao wanted MGNREGA funds to be tagged to agriculture with 50% contribution from farmers to reduce the cost of their investment.