Kerala Wants Inclusion of New Works Under MGNREG Scheme

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Thiruvananthapuram:  Congress-led UDF government in Kerala today asked the Centre to include new works like paddy cultivation, homestead farming, coconut farming and coir yarn production under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREG) Scheme.
   
In a memorandum submitted to Union Minister for Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh, it was stated that land development activities such as jungle clearance, bunding, levelling could be undertaken using MGNREG scheme workers.
   
In the case of extension of Coconut farming, unskilled activities such as cutting the senile palms, digging pits for replanting, bunding, hoeing, making protective shields, watering up to a period of three years can be taken up under scheme.

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Stating that statistics reveals that the share of Agriculture and allied activities in the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Kerala was far below the national level, the memorandum said a decision may be taken to approve cultivation of the staple foodgrain of a state where the share of Agriculture and allied activities plummeted to below 10 per cent.
   
"Hence, the State request to approve rice cultivation in Kerala as an approved convergence activity under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme with Agriculture Department", it said.
   
Kerala also wanted lease land farming by Labour Groups and handloom activities in the scheme.
   
On the changes required in the rural development schemes, the state requested the Centre to increase the unit cost under Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY) and works under Integrated Watershed Management Programme.
   
The state wanted to increase the unit cost under IAY from the present Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.50 lakh.


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