New Delhi: Amid demands for government sharing half the burden of wage payment to labourers engaged in agricultural activities on private land, the Centre on Friday said it is examining a proposal to provide foodgrains as part of wage payments to agriculture workers under MNREGA.
"This year there is record production of paddy in Andhra Pradesh ... We are examining whether we can provide some foodgrains instead of only rupees ... Whether certain payment can be made from MNREGA to agriculture workers," Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in Rajya Sabha.
He was replying to a short notice question by JD Seelam (Congress).
In a recent letter to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, the Agriculture Ministry had proposed providing foodgrains to workers as part of MNREGA wages.
Agriculture labourers working on private land are receiving part of wages under MNREGA in various states.
Seelam earlier said that farmers were not getting labourers for agriculture activities in Andhra Pradesh, which was facing drought, as they were engaged in MNREGA.
He sought to know whether the labourers engaged in agriculture activities in private land can be paid half of their wages under MNREGA fund to ensure their availability.
Raising the issue of severe drought in Andhra Pradesh, he accused the Centre of providing only Rs 706 crore against Rs 3,006 crore sought by the state.
"When are you releasing the actual amount which is due to Andhra Pradesh government for distribution among farmers," he asked.