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Friday, April 23, 2021

NREGA wages see highest jump in Meghalaya, nil in Kerala, Lakshadweep

In all, 22 States and UTs have seen an increase of less than Rs 10, whereas 12 states and UTs have registered a hike of over Rs 10 this time.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: March 17, 2021 8:54:10 am
NREGA wages see highest jump in Meghalaya, nil in Kerala, LakshadweepFour Northeastern states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura -- have seen an increase of Rs 7, whereas Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha and Telangana have registered a hike of Rs 8.

Meghalaya has registered the highest increase in MGNREGS wages — a jump of Rs 23 from Rs 203 in 2020-21 to Rs 226 — for 2021-2022, while there has been no increase in Kerala and Lakshadweep, according to the “state-wise wage rate for unskilled manual workers” notified by the Ministry of Rural Development.

According to the notification issued on March 15, Rajasthan saw a hike of Rs 1, while Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand registered an increase of Rs 3.

All states and Union territories, except Meghalaya, have registered a lower hike in MGNREGS wages for 2021-2022 as compared to the increase announced for 2020-2021. The new rates will be effective from April 1.

Meghalaya is followed by poll-bound Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, which have seen a hike of Rs 17 — from Rs 256 in 2020-21 to Rs 273. The rate has been increased by Rs 9 — from Rs 204 to Rs 213 — in West Bengal.

The lower hike in wage rates comes at a time when the rural job guarantee scheme has emerged as a safety net for migrant workers, who returned to their villages in view of the pandemic. As on March 16, 7.42 crore households (10.92 crore individuals) have already availed the job guarantee scheme. So far, over 367 crore person-days have been generated under the scheme in the current financial year.

Under sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, the Centre fixes state-wise wage rates for unskilled manual workers, who work under the rural job guarantee scheme — the rates are are fixed according to changes in the CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index- Agriculture Labor) reflecting inflation in rural areas.

In all, 22 States and UTs have seen an increase of less than Rs 10, whereas 12 states and UTs have registered a hike of over Rs 10 this time.

The wage rate for Jharkhand and Bihar has been hiked by Rs 4 from Rs 194 in 2020-21 to Rs 198 in 2021-22. Gujarat has seen a hike of Rs 5 from Rs 224 to Rs 229 for the next financial year. Three states have seen a hike of Rs 6 —Haryana (from Rs 309 to Rs 315), Himachal Pradesh (from Rs 248 to Rs 254) and Punjab (from Rs 263 to Rs 269).

Four Northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura — have seen an increase of Rs 7, whereas Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha and Telangana have registered a hike of Rs 8.

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