Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today said that Congress-led UPA Government’s flagship employment guarantee scheme- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA)- can play a big role to usher in second green revolution in India. It also can increase agricultural production, said Sonia Gandhi.
While addressing the 8th MNREGA Sammelan in New Delhi, the Congress President said, "I am of the belief that MNREGA has tremendous potential to increase agriculture production, which we have not been able to tap fully till date. There are many possibilities not only for creating community assets in villages but also providing irrigation facilities to small and marginalised farmers, developing land and promoting farming”.
Sonia Gandhi continued, "Manifold increase in the produce of farmers can be made by connecting this scheme with the use of modern technologies in agriculture. There is no doubt that MNREGA can play a big role in fulfilling our dreams of second green revolution."
She also warned regarding the challenges in the implementation of MNREGA and said, "We frequently hear complaints of corruption and misutilisation of funds in this scheme. It is very essential to put a check on this" and added, “The government will take steps to reduce its shortcomings through the tools of modern communication and information”. Sonia Gandhi also maintained it was necessary that social audits happened timely and according to norms.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh inaugurated the conference. In his opening address Dr Singh said 30 new works have already been added to the list of works permitted under MNREGA, whose focus is by and large on providing employment in rural areas mainly through agriculture. Apart from direct financial benefit, the scheme has given many indirect benefits to the people and brought down the migration graph, he said.