New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh today asked the Centre to increase the number of wage days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme (MGNREGS) from the present 150 to 200 to benefit non-farm labour and
marginalised sections of the society. In his speech at the National Development Council meeting which was read out by Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy emphasised the need for synchronising MGNREGS with agriculture to ensure that it continues to benefit agricultural labour.
Noting that the availability of private agricultural labour is likely to shrink as a result of the increased mechanisation, he said this shortage may have to be compensated by increasing the number of wage days under MGNREGS from the present 150 days to more than 200 days.
"MGNREGS has thus become a lifeline for the SC/ST wage seekers and has to a significant level improve their conditions of living and additional mandays will help to provide a brighter life at least to their posterity," Reddy said.
He also noted that the Government has recently successful passed the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan(Planning Allocation and Utilisation of Financial Resources) Bill, 2012 in the State Legislature. "It is expected that by the implementation of the Act about Rs 70,000 crore would be made available for the SCSP/TSP during the XII Five Year Plan. Due to strict implementation of the norm laid in the Bill, an additional amount of about Rs. 3,000 crore every year is expected to be available for SCSP/TSP," he said.
Reddy also congratulated the UPA Government, for successfully getting the approval in both Houses of Parliament for reform-oriented decision of allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in the Country. "We welcome the step as it will not only introduce new technology and bring in investment in marketing agricultural produce but also strengthen the supply chain considerably," he said.