Chouhan meets PM, seeks changes in MNREGA scheme

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday met prime minister Narendra Modi and sought changes in the MNREGA scheme to help create permanent assets in rural areas and bring about speedy development. During his meeting with the prime minister in Parliament House, Chouhan urged him to change the ratio of labour to material under the scheme from the current 60:40 to 50:50 and help create permanent assets in villages.

After meeting the prime minister, Chouhan met finance minister Arun Jaitley and raised the demands with him also. ‘For MNREGA to help create permanent assets, it is necessary that the current ratio be changed. This can change the face of rural India,’ he said, adding that the changes sought by him can help create assets like schools, Anganwadis and buildings in villages as funds were going waste currently.

‘A lot of money is wasted under the current scheme and no permanent assets are created. We don’t have bhawans, culverts, infrastructure. By changing the ratio under MNREGA, we can help create such assets,’ he said. He also raised the demand of raising the limit of physical deficit from the current 3 per cent to 5 per cent to help initiate speedy development and sought grant of more funds to states and more share in the central taxes.

‘We have asked the finance minister to provide an untied fund for states which they can spend according to their needs and priorities. To provide more funds to states for development, there should be an increase in the physical deficit limit from 3 per cent to 5 per cent,’ he said.
‘We also demanded that there should be a rethink on states’ share in central taxes and a new Farm Insurance scheme be brought about and the provision of the Centre’s 50 per cent share under the scheme be made in the Union Budget,’ Chouhan said.

The Madhya Pradesh chief minister also sought national status for two river projects - the Bargi project and the Narmada-Malwadi project in the state that envisaged use of Narmada river water in other rivers.

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