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Maharashtra plans to use MGNREGS labour for agriculture: Ajit Pawar

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar revealed on Sunday that the State was in talks about utilising the labour under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for agriculture, to bridge the shortage of supply of farm labour.

“The State government is discussing whether it will be possible to divert the labour available under the MGNREGS to agriculture in the State, which is losing out on the labour supply,” Mr. Pawar said, at a public programme here. He was of the opinion that because of the MGNREGS, farm labour was being diverted from agriculture towards developmental work.

Earlier this month, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar was reported to have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about “freezing” the MGNREGS for three months of the year, to ensure that the necessary amount of labour is provided for agriculture. Mr. Pawar had also suggested subsidising wages being paid by farmers to the labourers in agriculture by 50 percent of the wages being paid through the MGNREGS. He had cited increasing agricultural wage rates, as a result of the labour diversion to the MGNREGS.

Mr. Pawar had also suggested a consultation with the State governments to discuss the issue.

By echoing the senior Pawar's statement, Mr. Ajit Pawar gave an indication of a possible policy decision in Maharashtra.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 5:36:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/maharashtra-plans-to-use-mgnregs-labour-for-agriculture-ajit-pawar/article2726919.ece

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