The Centre has hiked wage rates for unskilled manual workers by double digits across all states and Union territories under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for the financial year 2020-21. This comes after the allocation of the rural job guarantee scheme was increased to a record level in the revised estimate of the current year.
Some states saw zero increase in the wages rates for 2019-20 as against 2018-19. The increase this year ranges from Rs 13 to Rs 34 for all States and UTs.
The new wages will be effective from April 1, 2020.
The step comes when demand for work under the scheme has seen a decline amid a slowdown in the economy. This has forced the government to increase the allocation under MGNREGA from Rs 60,000 crore to an all-time record of Rs 71,001 crore in the current financial year at the revised estimate stage. For the next year, the Centre has allocated Rs 61,500 crore for the scheme.
As per a notification issued by the Ministry of Rural Development, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra have seen the highest increase of Rs 34 (from Rs 224 to Rs 258) and Rs 32 (from Rs 206 to Rs 238), respectively. The lowest hike of Rs 13 has been recorded in the states of West Bengal (from Rs 191 to Rs 204), Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura (Rs 192 to Rs 205 in all four states).
After the increase, the average wage per day will be Rs 202 during 2020-21 and this is Rs 20 higher than the current financial year, a ministry official said. He further said the hike is due to the increase in CPI-AL (consumer price index for agriculture labourers) which reflects the increase in the inflation in rural areas.
Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have seen an increase of Rs 14 whereas Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Jammu & Kashmir recorded a hike of Rs 15, Rs 16 and Rs 17, respectively.
Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha have seen a hike of Rs 19 while Assam and Kerala registered an increase of Rs 20. Wages have been hiked for Rajasthan (Rs 21), Punjab (Rs 22), Bihar and Jharkhand (Rs 23). There is an increase of Rs 25 in wages in Haryana, Gujarat and Daman and Diu, of Rs 26 in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Goa, and Rs 27 in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
During 2019-20, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and West Bengal did not see any increase in MGNREGA wage rates.
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