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MNREGA wages likely to increase

NEW DELHI, Feb 3:
Remuneration under MNREGA could be increased with the government mooting a proposal to bring the wages under the rural job scheme at par with the Minimum Wage Act of 1948.
Wages under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme have increased for all states after the government linked it with the Consumer Price Index and the yearly revision was being done.
But despite this exercise, the pay is still below the notified minimum wages in many states.
A day after organising an event to mark the 9th MNREGA Divas, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said his ministry has moved a note to the PMO and the Finance Ministry, urging them to take steps to amend Section 6(2) of the Act, “which will once and for all solve issue of the difference between the two wages.”
Observing that in 14 states the wage under the rural job scheme was lower than the rate stipulated under the Minimum Wages Act, he said an expert group under Prof Mahendra Dev, a noted economist, has also recommended parity between the Minimum Wage Rate of MNREGA and the minimum remuneration of the Minimum Wage Act of 1948.
Ramesh said Chief Ministers of Bihar, Jharkhand and Kerala have also asked the Prime Minister to bring parity between the two wages.
“I am in favour of this. I have already submitted to the government — the Finance Ministry and Prime Minister — amendments to Section 6 (2) of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA 2005. It is now up to the government to decide. But from us, a proposal has been sent and it is now circulated to all ministries for their comments,” he told reporters here.
Ramesh said amending Section 6 (2) of MNREGA will ensure that this disparity in the two wages will not persist. (PTI)

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