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MGNREGS wage hike just, based on Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour: Govt source
3/29/2024 10:14:55 PM
NEW DELHI, Mar 29: Amid criticism over low rate of hike in MGNREGS wages, sources on Friday said the increase was calculated on the basis of Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour, which rose by around 7.7 per cent since last year.
The Rural Development Ministry had notified new wage rates under the MGNREGS on Wednesday, with hikes ranging between four and 10 per cent for different states, and an overall national average of around seven per cent.
Sources from the ministry said the central government has indexed the wage rate under the MGNREGS with the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour (CPI-AL) to compensate the workers against inflation.
Relevant data on CPI-AL was taken from the Labour Bureau, Shimla and the revisions were done on the basis of changes in CPI-AL and as per section 6(1) Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Act 2005.
The wages were revised on the basis of a formula where the proposed wage rate is equal to last year's wage rate, multiplied by the quotient of CPI-AL for December 2023 divided by CPI (AL) of December 2022.
"The overall increase in CPI-AL is 7.7 percent from 1167 to 1257. This index varies from state to state and is based on statistical data collected every month on consumer prices of various commodities for agricultural labours," the source said.
"It is an independent exercise done by the Labour Bureau, Shimla and is the reflection of inflation in the rural areas which is different for every State," the source said.
The index has increased by 9.2 per cent in Gujarat, 10 per cent in MP and 10.2 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, which is higher than the national average, while it is only 3.2 per cent in UP, 4.4 per cent in Rajasthan and 4.7 per cent in Haryana, below the national average.
Against the backdrop of concerns raised over the low hike in wages for MGNREGA workers in West Bengal by leaders of ruling Trinamool Congress, the source said that the hike of 5.7 per cent for the state was higher than many others.
"The wage rate under MGNREGA is indexed with CPI-AL and is a transparent and rational method of notifying wage rates every year," the source said.
TMC MP Saket Gokhale had on Thursday called the 5.7 per cent hike in wages for MGNREGA workers in the state "a brazen display of the BJP's hate for West Bengal." Congress also slammed the Narendra Modi government on Thursday after it notified the revised MGNREGS wages for 2024-25, saying the daily wage rates in all states are well below the Rs 400 a day promised by the opposition party under its "Shramik NYAY" guarantees.
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