Ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2024, the Central government has on Wednesday, 27 March, announced a wage rate hike ranging from 3 to 10 percent for MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) workers for the fiscal year 2024-25.

The Ministry of Rural Development notified the new wage rates, under sub-section (1) of section 6 of MGNREGA 2005. These new wage rates will become effective from the upcoming financial year that begins from 1 April 2024.

Among the states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will experience the smallest increase of 3 percent, while Goa is poised for the most substantial hike of 10.6 percent.

The state of Goa witnessed the maximum hike of 10.56 percent over the current wage rate taking the wage to Rs 356 per day for financial year 2024-2025 against Rs 322 per day in the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand registered the lowest raise of 3.04 percent each from existing Rs 230 to Rs 237 per day.

The highest rate of wage that is Rs 374 per day has been allotted for Haryana, while the lowest wage that is Rs 234 per day has been fixed for Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

The average MGNREGS wage increase across India is Rs28 per day, bringing the average wage for 2024-25 to Rs 289 as against Rs 261 for FY 2023-24.

The rural development ministry obtained clearance from the Election Commission to announce the revised wage rates amidst the implementation of the model code of conduct for the General Elections, according to a News Arena India report.

Last year, the ministry enacted a similar revision on 24 March  2023, showcasing varied increases across different states.

Earlier this year, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development highlighted concerns about inadequate wages not aligning with the rising cost of living and flagged variations in MGNREGA wages across states.
The Committee urged the Rural Development Ministry to explore revising the base year and base rate of the MGNREGA wage, currently calculated from 2009-10.

The Centre had allocated Rs 86,000 crore for MGNREGS in the Union Budget 2024-25, matching the revised estimate for the ongoing financial year 2023-24.

MTNews Desk

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