Giving a big relief to the workers in rural areas, the employment guarantee scheme has been started under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) during the current lockdown period. The central government has increased the guaranteed wage rate by Rs 32 in the current financial year. Last year, the increase was only Rs 3. This year, however, the workers have expressed satisfaction over the sharp rise in daily wages.
The Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Scheme was launched to provide employment to people in rural areas. Under this scheme, employment is guaranteed for 100 days out of 365 days in a year. It is the responsibility of the state government to provide employment and wages to the rural populace. In this scheme, sludge removal, digging of ditches, asphalting of roads, tree plantation are undertaken. Every year on the first day of the new fiscal year, on April 1, MGNREGA wages are proposed for a hike.
In the previous three consecutive years from 2017 to 2019, a nominal hike in daily wages was effectivated at Rs 3 per year. This year, however, the workers have been given justice by giving a sharp rise of whopping Rs 32. The daily wages are now pegged at Rs 238/day from Rs 206.
Achche Din for workers
The demand for an increase in wages was picking up for the last couple of days. During the rule of the Congress between the period 2011-14, there was a total hike of Rs 41 in wages. While in BJP rule from the year 2015 to 2019, there was a consolidated wage hike of Rs 38 was registered. That was a nominal hike for the last five years. However, in the current financial year 2020 alone, it has been increased by Rs 32 which is the highest rise in the last ten years.
Year-on-year hike in wages (In Rs)
2012 – 145
2013 – 162
2014 – 168
2015 – 181
2016 – 192
2019 – 206
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005, later renamed as the “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, MGNREGA), is Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’.
“The Union Ministry of Rural Development fixes the wage rate. MGNREGA wages are increased on the first day of the financial year. This fiscal period, the wages has been increased by Rs 32.”
– Pallavi Nirmal, deputy collector, Employment Guarantee Scheme