Parliamentary panel proposes new wage base of MGNREGA.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development and Panchayati Raj has recommended raising wages as early as possible under the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (under the MGNREG Act). He also asked the ministry to explore the possibility of revising the MGNREGA salary base year and base rate. “The committee again recommends that the Department of Rural Development (DoRD) should consider the issue of appropriate hike in wage rates under MGNREGA and raise the wage rates at the earliest in a manner beneficial to the beneficiaries of MGNREGA,” the panel said. in a report tabled in the Lok Sabha. lower wage level, maybe adjust the base year closer and increase the base rate by ₹ 100/day, it is achievable. “The Commission considers this 2009-10 base year calculation method to be outdated and saturated to achieve any desired figure that is consistent with current inflation and cost of living increases,” the report said.

The Government declares the wage rate under MGNREGA using the Consumer Price Index of Agricultural Labor (CPI-AL) and keeping the wage levels obtained on 1 April 2009 or ₹ 100, whichever is the basis of indexation for the States. . Every year, wage levels are reviewed and reported, adding additional value to the base index based on the CPI-AL. According to DoRD, this inflation is calculated on the basis of the base rate of 2009. States, however, can pay a salary that exceeds the salary level announced by the Centre. There are three such states that raise wages from their own resources, with Odisha paying the highest ₹115 per day extra to bring MGNREGA workers to ₹352 per day, slightly below Haryana’s ₹357 per day.

The Committee notes that wages vary from ₹ 221 in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, ₹ 224 in Arunachal Pradesh, ₹ 228 in Bihar and Jharkhand to ₹ 303 in Punjab and Haryana.

In its response to the panel, the DoRD said, “Currently, at this stage, there is no other mechanism that we are following. Whatever proposals are made in this regard, we will add them to the attention of the government. It also stated, “Whether we take the CPI-AL or the CPI-RL, it doesn’t matter much. One thing that matters is the base rate. It should be checked from time to time. But that didn’t happen. So far, a conscious decision has been taken not to do so” To protect against wage bending, it was decided to index the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA notified wage rate to the Consumer Price Index of Agricultural Labor (CPI-AL). ), maintaining the distinction between the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA notified wage rate and the Minimum Wage Act announced government

The Panel observed that DoRD should adopt a much more economically viable method to identify ways and means of selecting an appropriate index. (other than CPI-AL and CPI-RL) to meet the needs of the hour positive revision of MGNREGA wages according to the prevailing inflationary trend.

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