NREGS causing shortage of farm hands in TN district

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Tiruchirapalli, Sep 1 (UNI) Various farmers associations in this district have appealed to the authorities to temporarily suspend execution of work under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) during agricultural season as it creates shortage of farm hands.

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh Tamil Nadu general secretary P Ayyakannu said most of the farm labourers, particularly women, chose work under the NREGS rather than regular farm work which fetches lower wages.

''We are not able to attract farm hands and if the situation continues, it will affect our operations and ultimately foodgrain production. ''The district administration should implement the NREGS during the non-agricultural season,'' he added.

Tiruchirapalli Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association President G Kanagasabai said with the kuruvai paddy harvest expected to commence in the next ten to 15 days in the district, shortage of labourers was a cause of concern among the farmers.

When this reporter took up this issue with the District Collector T Soundiah he said the NREGS could not be suspended. It was mandatory for every village panchayats to offer 100 days of work for those registered under the NREGS.

Panchayats could not refuse work for beneficiaries under the scheme as otherwise they would have to pay unemployment allowances, he said.

UNI RV GM RC DS1203

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