New Delhi: A proposal for giving foodgrains as part payment of wages under the rural job scheme is being considered at the “highest level”, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said here today but did not mince words in making clear his disapproval of any such decision.
“It is being considered at the highest level. When a decision is taken, we all will have to fall in line,” the Rural Development Minister told reporters here reacting to a query.
Expressing his disagreement with the proposal mooted by Food Minister KV Thomas, Ramesh noted that corruption had been “really extraordinary” under the Food for Work Programme launched in 2004.
“Assets that are created under the Food for Work Programme are really mythical,” he said.
He said the UPA Government’s MNREGA programme was a “step forward” to the National Food for Work Programme which was launched in 150 most backward districts of the country.
Thomas had written a letter to Ramesh in this regard.
The Minister said the proposal to give foodgrains instead of cash to agriculture workers under MNREGA was mooted considering the fact that there was no proper storage facility in the country and a large quantity of grains are rotting in open.
Last week, Agriculture Minister Pawar had informed the Rajya Sabha that the proposal had “not received” any positive response.