New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has sought the Centre's approval for payment of wages to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the form of food grains.
In a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, he said five lakh workers are being employed every day under the scheme.
Baghel said 62.52 lakh people of over 31.5 lakh families in the state depend on MGNREGS for livelihood.
The chief minister said payment of the wages under the scheme is sent to the workers' bank accounts directly through the National Electronic Fund Management System (NEFMS).
Baghel said once the wage amount is credited, labourers are required to withdraw money from their bank accounts to fulfill their primary needs, which will create problems for them as there is a shortage of bank branches in Chhattisgarh, as well as the problem of internet connectivity in Naxal-affected districts.
"Due to this, there are often problems like link failure and workers have to contact the branch many times to withdraw the amount," the chief minister of the Congress-ruled state said.
He said there will also be difficulty in following social distancing norms, according to a statement issued by the state government on Thursday.
Baghel said adequate food grains are available with the state government and an effective system of its distribution is in force.
He urged the Union agriculture minister to give permission to the Chhattisgarh government to distribute food grains against wages of labourers working under the MGNREGS, so that food security can be ensured for villagers even in the present adverse circumstances.