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Link NREGA with natural resources management: NAC

The Sonia Gandhi-led NAC also portrayed decentralisation of planning to natural village and hamlet level as a means to make villages leverage the workdays under the scheme.



New Delhi: In a bid to ensure preservation
of natural resources, the National Advisory Council (NAC)
on Thursday suggested two-thirds of all works in the rural jobs
scheme be linked to development of water and land resources.

The Sonia Gandhi-led NAC also portrayed decentralisation of
planning to natural village and hamlet level as a means to
make villages leverage the workdays under the scheme.

The advisory panel made a strong recommendation to insist
on two third investment on natural resource management.

"At least two-thirds of all works in financial terms at
the block/mandal level under MGNREGA shall focus on the
development of land and water resources to result in
sustainable increase in productivity of such resources and
incomes to the poor," said a NAC recommendation, which would
soon be communicated to the government.

Deep Joshi, Convenor of the working group on Natural
Resources Management, made a presentation on the topic in
convergence with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

Joshi also suggested that no other works will be taken by
a gram panchayat under MGNREGA until natural resources
management works based on hamlet level plans are implemented.

"There shall be overriding priority on developing assets
of the poor, especially of BPL, SC and ST households and land
allotted under Forest Rights Act," it said.

The NAC also suggested that MGNREGA plans shall override
all other plans made for watershed development by any other
agency, including government departments.

The Gandhi-led panel also pitched for systems of
implementation to ensure greater say of key stakeholders, such
as the wage seekers in deciding the type of works and the
timing for their opening, in conformity with the provisions of
the Act.

"Mechanisms for capacity building to plan and implement
natural resource development schemes shall be
institutionalised with greater participation of civil society
organisations working in the field," the NAC recommendation
said.

Meanwhile, the NAC constituted a new working group on
Minority Affairs with Harsh Mander as its Convenor.

Earlier, Narendra Jadhav, convenor of the working group
on Denotified and Nomadic Tribes, made a presentation on
improving the condition of these tribes.

Jadhav was asked to further deliberate the matter in the
working group.

Mirai Chatterjee and Aruna Roy made presentations on
social security and pre-legislative consultations
respectively.

The next meeting of the NAC is scheduled to be held on
August 26.

PTI

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