Government has set up a Chief Ministers Subgroup to Coordinate Policy Approaches for Agriculture and MGNREGS with the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as the Convener and CMs of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim along with the Member NITI Aayog, Shri Ramesh Chand as its members. The move comes in the backdrop of the vision of the Prime Minister towards Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022 which requires a multi-dimensional and inclusive approach. It comes close on the heels of the unanimous decision taken at the 4th meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on 17thJune. During the deliberations it was suggested to come out with approaches with special emphasis on pre-sowing and post-harvest interventions using MGNREGS, for creating durable assets that double incomes of farmers and reduce agrarian distress.
The Prime Minister nominated the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh to convene a Sub-Group of seven Chief Ministers for coordinated policy approach on the Agriculture Sector and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).Subsequently the Chief Ministers Sub-Group has been constituted with the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as its Convener. The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim, and Shri Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog, have been named has Members of the Sub-Group. The Sub-Group will be serviced by the NITI Aayog.
Terms of Reference of the Sub-Group has tentatively been assigned to suggest a wider choice of State specific interventions both for pre-sowing and post-harvest to further improve the thrust on incomes, water conservation and waste to wealth. Another major stress is to align work under MGNREGS fully to the requirements of achieving the goal of Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022. This shall improve thrust on Water Conservation, individual Beneficiary Schemes, Construction of Rural Haats, Vermi-Composting etc.
Recommendations on interventions of MGNREGS that can facilitate reduction of agrarian distress including work availability, wage rates, seasonality etc. and to explore the possibilities of MGNREGS as a livelihood resource for development and diversification of livelihoods of small and marginal farmers specially belonging to SC/ST households would also be laid.
Ways to align MGNREGS and livelihood thrust with women Self Help Groups (SHGs), producer Groups, and Producer Companies will be enabled for a better use of resources for livelihood. Successful convergence of program resources across Departments to ensure optimal fund utilization, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability would also be taken consideration of.
The Sub-Group will submit its report within three months from its date of constitution. The first meeting of the Sub-Group is expected to be held within the next month, as per the convenience of the Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh.