New Delhi, Oct. 17: Funds from the rural job scheme will be used to hire workers to build godowns for storing grain under the new food security law.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which focuses on labour-intensive projects, has added construction of such godowns as permissible work under the scheme, ministers Jairam Ramesh and K.V. Thomas said here today.
Food minister Thomas said the National Food Security Act, which provides for subsidised grain to up to 67 per cent of the population, would be better implemented if storage facilities were created at the block level. There are 6,612 blocks in the country.
At present, the Food Corporation of India has set up godowns in key cities and towns. Grain is transported from the godowns to ration shops, leading to leakage that some estimates suggest is as high as 30 per cent. If more godowns are created at the local level, such leakage can be checked, Thomas said.
Ramesh, the rural development minister, said the latest move will also help address criticism the NREGA has not created durable assets.