Increase work days in rural job scheme, demands Dhumal

October 15th, 2011 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Oct 15 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Saturday requested the central government to increase the number of work days a person is entitled to under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal told visiting union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh here to make norms under the MGNREGS more flexible keeping in view the difficult hilly terrain and topographical conditions of the state.

“I have requested the union minister to substantially enhance the days of employment provided under the MGNREGS to every member of a household in rural areas from 100 days. To begin with, benefits should be extended to the BPL (below poverty line) families,” Dhumal told reporters.

He said he also raised the demand to include in the MGNREGS the appointment of crop protectors from the wild animals, especially the monkeys, and restoration of damaged assets, including buildings, in case of natural calamity.

As per forest department estimates, more than 900,000 farmers are affected by the simians in the state. Monkeys, numbering over 300,000, target mainly cereal and fruit crops.

Jairam, who was here to deliver an inaugural address at a two-day seminar on the Comptroller Auditor General of India’s audit mandate, also congratulated Dhumal for successfully making the state free of open-defecation.

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