THE CENTRE has notified fresh wage rates under rural job guarantee programme NREGS for financial year 2022-23, with 21 out of 34 states and Union Territories getting less than 5 per cent increase and 10 states getting more than 5 per cent hike. There is no change in the wage rates of three states – Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.
The wage rates, notified by Ministry of Rural Development under sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, will be effective from April 1. A notification of this effect was issued by the Ministry on Monday.
Of the 31 states and UTs, which saw a hike in wages, the maximum 7.14 per cent has been recorded in Goa — from Rs 294 per day in 2021-22 to Rs 315 per day in 2022-23. The lowest increase of 1.77 per cent is in Meghalaya where the new wage rate has been fixed at Rs 230 per day from the existing Rs 226 per day.
Apart from Meghalaya, two other states — Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland — have also witnessed an increase of less than 2 per cent in NREGS wages.
The NEREGS wages have been increased 2-3 per cent in Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. In Maharashtra, Odisha, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, the wages have been increased 3-4 per cent, while in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the hike is 4-5 per cent.
Only 10 states — Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa — have seen an increase of more than 5 per cent.
In absolute terms, the NREGS wages have been increased in the range of Rs 4 to Rs 21 per day across 31 states and UTs for 2022-23.
Under sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the MGNREGA, 2005, the Union government fixes state-wise wage rates for unskilled manual workers, who work under the rural job guarantee scheme.
The MGNREGA wage rates are fixed according to changes in the CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index-Agriculture Labour), which reflects the increase in the inflation in rural areas.
According to the new wage rates, five states and UTs with the highest NREGS wages are Haryana (Rs 331 per day); Goa (315); Kerala (311); Karnataka (309); and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (308). Five states with lowest NREGS wages are Tripura (212); Bihar (210); Jharkhand (210); Chhattisgarh (204); and Madhya Pradesh (204).
The NREGS wage rates stands at Rs 213 per day for both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Rs 216 for Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, Rs 222 for Odisha and Sikkim, Rs 223 for West Bengal and Rs 227 for Jammu and Kashmir.