Vidarbha farmers nix MNREGA off-duration suggestion

A farmers` NGO has opposed Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar`s reported demand that work on the MNREGA be suspended for three months to make labourers available during the peak farm season.

Updated: Dec 10, 2011, 18:32 PM IST

Nagpur: A farmers` NGO has opposed Union
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar`s reported demand that work
on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
(MNREGA) be suspended for three months to make labourers
available during the peak farm season.

Pawar had reportedly sent a letter to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh last month suggesting at least three months in
a year be considered an off-duration of the rural employment
scheme so that farm labourers are available during the peak
agricultural operations in various parts of the country.

Vidarbha Jandolan Samiti (VJAS), an NGO active in the
region, where it has been documenting farmer suicides, has
opposed the reported suggestion made by Pawar.

"We are not supporting Pawar`s demand reportedly made
in a letter sent to the Prime Minister. Instead, we suggest
that agrarian activities be made part of MGNEREGA," VJAS
President Kishor Tiwari said in a statement here.

PTI