Friday, January 2, 2015

PMKSY integrating with MGNREGA

Write a note on the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). Do you think it is better to integrate this scheme with MGNREGA as proposed by the Prime Minister? Justify. 



Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) is a centrally sponsored scheme, launched by the Union Agricultural Ministry with a budget of Rs. 1000 crores, to improve the Agricultural Yield in the country. Under the programme:
1. Each farmer is to be provided with irrigational facilities to minimize his dependence on the monsoons
2. Rivers will be inter-linked to avoid situations of drought and floods
3. Farmers will be issued a Soil Health Card which will help them know the productivity of their land the crops it can grow best
4. Krishi Vigyan Kendras or agriculture science centres would also be strengthened in all the districts of the country so that they could come to the aid of farmers
The Prime Minister has proposed to link this scheme with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme, under which people are assured 100 days of employment in a year at minimum wages towards creation of community assets. However, in recent years, MNREGA workers have not been able to find productive work and hence although the income of the workers may have increased, the value addition by them has been negligible.
In light of this, linking the PMKSY and the MNREGA would be beneficial for the following reasons:
1. Workers would be employed in productive work, which will bear a very positive externality towards irrigation
2. Employment would automatically be for more than 100 days
3. Since most of the MNREGA workers are farmers or their families, the quality of work will also be high since it will finally be serving their own community
4. Government expenditure in one scheme will become an investment for the other, therefore helping in fiscal consolidation
However, there are also some concerns like:
1. Duplication of benefits: MNREG workers getting employed in the PMKSY will exclude other workers who may not have been able to enroll for MNREGA but equally need employment
2. Coordination, between the Agricultural Ministry and the Ministry of Rural Development may pose problems of slowing down processes and other bureaucratical hurdles
Despite the concerns, the benefits of merging the two schemes are far reaching a hence it is a welcome step.

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