Hyderabad: The Telangana Legislative Assembly on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the Centre to implement Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in all rural blocks of the state and also integrate it with agriculture.
The Assembly expressed its "strong reservations" on the proposed changes in the scheme and restricting it to only 2,500 backward blocks, including 78 in Telangana state.
Panchayat Raj Minister K Taraka Rama Rao moved the resolution in the Assembly today and all parties supported it.
On the suggestion of Leader of Opposition K Jana Reddy, Telugu Desam member Sandra Venkata Veeraiah and others, the resolution was modified incorporating the plea that the MGNREGS be integrated with agriculture.
Though the initial resolution said the "Telangana Assembly strongly protests" (the proposed changes in the scheme), the wording was changed to "expresses its strong reservations" on the suggestion of BJP floor leader K Laxman, who asked the TRS government not to adopt a "confrontationist attitude" towards the Centre.
But there was unanimity in the House that the MGNREGS be continued in its current form without any dilution.
The resolution read: "The Telangana Legislative Assembly expresses its strong reservations on the proposed changes since the scheme provides unskilled wage employment to vast number of rural poor, especially vulnerable and marginalised sections of the society, including women, when there is no other work available."
"This problem is particularly acute in the newly-formed state of Telangana which is marked by backward areas across the state in all blocks and has limited resources," it said.
"Any move to restrict application of the Act to a few areas based on the incorrect interpretation of the outcome of the Act would set the clock back on the development, negatively impacting Dalits, women and all sections of people who are being benefited by the scheme, adversely affecting the growth of the Telangana state."
"The Assembly, therefore, unanimously resolves to request the Government of India that MGNREGS be implemented in all rural blocks of the state of Telangana," the resolution added.