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  1. Govt hikes wages under MGNREGA scheme; Goa sees highest hike

Govt hikes wages under MGNREGA scheme; Goa sees highest hike

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2 min read • Updated: March 28, 2024, 1:54 PM

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Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme is a social welfare initiative that aims to provide 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to rural unskilled labour. The Centre initiated its regular practice of issuing wage revisions in the scheme.

Woman performing manual unskilled labour
The revised wage rates will be effective from April 1, as the new financial year begins.

The central government on Thursday announced revised wage rates under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The Ministry of Rural Development has hiked the wage rates for MGNREGA workers in the range of 3% to 10% for the financial year 2024-2025. Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will record the lowest percentage increase at 3%, while Goa will witness the highest hike of 10.6%.

Currently, Goa has the highest MGNREGA wage rate of ₹356 per day, while Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have the lowest rate at ₹234 per day. Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka will also record a percentage increase of more than 10%.

The expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, also known as the Anoop Satpathy Committee, “recommended to fix the need based national minimum wage for India at ₹375 per day (or ₹9,750 per month) as of July 2018, irrespective of sectors, skills, occupations and rural-urban locations.” The committee also highlighted a need to introduce “additional house rent allowance (city compensatory allowance), averaging up to ₹55 per day i.e., ₹1,430 per month for urban workers over and above the NMW.”

Echoing similar concerns, a Parliamentary panel last month highlighted the high range of variations in MGNREGA wages across the states and also said that daily wages paid under the scheme “are inadequate and not in consonance with the rising cost of living.”

According to a working paper from the International Labour Organization, the implementation and the rural employment guarantee scheme has led to a decline in the gender wage gap and increased compliance with the minimum wage regulations in rural areas. Notably, the paper also stated that the discrepancy between formal salaried workers and casual workers has also decreased.