The Union Government on June 19, 2018 constituted a Chief Ministers Subgroup to coordinate policy approaches for Agriculture and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). The decision was taken during the Fourth Governing Council Meeting of the NITI Aayog.
The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh will be the Convener of the subgroup; and the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim will be the member of the group along with the NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand.
The Sub-Group will be serviced by the NITI Aayog.
Terms of Reference of the Sub-Group
• To suggest a wider choice of state specific interventions for both pre-sowing and post-harvest to improve the thrust on income, water conservation and waste to wealth.
• To align work under MGNREGS for achieving the goal of Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022. This will improve thrust on water conservation, individual beneficiary schemes, construction of rural haats, vermi-composting etc.
• To make recommendations on interventions of MGNREGS that can facilitate reduction of agrarian distress including work availability, wage rates, seasonality, etc.
• To explore the possibilities of MGNREGS as a livelihood resource for development and diversification of livelihoods of small and marginal farmers belonging to SC/ST households.
• To suggest ways of aligning MGNREGS and its livelihood thrust with women Self Help Groups (SHGs), producer groups, and producer companies to enable a better use of resources for livelihood.
• To explore successful convergence of program resources across departments to ensure optimal fund utilization, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.
The move comes in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to double farmers’ income by 2022.
The Sub-Group will submit its report within three months from its date of constitution. The first meeting of the Sub-Group is expected to be held in July 2018, based on the convenience of the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.