Agriculture

MNREGA wage hike less than minimum wage in 33 states

Nagaland is the only state where the wage rate is equal to or more than their minimum wage

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Wednesday 03 April 2019
Minimum wages
Photo: Pixabay Photo: Pixabay

The Centre was already under fire for a low wage hike under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGA), and now an analysis has revealed that these wages are less than even the minimum wage in 33 states and Union territories (UTs).

The hike, which ranges from Re 1 to Rs 17, didn’t figure against the names of six states and UTs. The average wage rate increase is 2.6 per cent.

NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a national platform of workers’ collectives, union, organisations and individuals engaged in public action on the scheme, found that for 33 states and UTs, the NREGA wage rate is less than their minimum wage for agriculture.

Goa sees the biggest gap as the increased MNREGA wage is only 62 per cent of the state minimum wage for agriculture. Several other states, like Bihar, Gujarat and Odisha, fall in the 60-70 per cent range. Nagaland is the only state where workers’ wages under MNREGA will be equal to or more than their minimum wage.

“A report by Anoop Sathpathy Committee recommended that the minimum wage should be fixed at Rs 375. And, several other Centre-appointed committees have said the wages should be linked to Consumer Price Index (rural) instead of the outdated CPI (agriculture labour). The government just doesn't seem to be implementing these recommendations," said Debmalya Nandy from NREGA Sangharsh Morcha.

Sl No Name of state NREGA wage rate in 2018-19 (Rs.) Current Agricultural minimum wage rate NREGA wage rate in 2019-20 (Rs.) Increase in NREGA wage rate Absolute difference between NREGA wage rate and agriculture minimum wage  What proportion of the minimum wage is the NREGA wage (%)
1 Andhra Pradesh 205 312 211 6 101 67.63
2 Arunachal Pradesh 177 220 192 15 28 87.27
3 Assam 189 255 193 4 62 75.69
4 Bihar 168 246 171 3 75 69.51
5 Chhattisgarh 174 237 176 2 61 74.26
6 Goa 254 409 254 0 155 62.10
7 Gujarat 194 312 199 5 113 63.78
8 Haryana 281 339 284 3 55 83.78
9 Himachal Pradesh 184 225 185 1 40 82.22
10 Jammu and Kashmir 186 225 189 3 36 84.00
11 Jharkhand 168 239 171 3 68 71.55
12 Karnataka 249 269 249 0 20 92.57
13 Kerala 271 287 271 0 16 94.43
14 Madhya Pradesh 174 231 176 2 55 76.19
15 Maharashtra 203 247 206 3 41 83.40
16 Manipur 209 225 219 10 6 97.33
17 Meghalaya 181 196 187 6 9 95.41
18 Mizoram 194 250 211 17 39 84.40
19 Nagaland 177 115 192 15 -77 166.96
20 Odisha 182 280 188 6 92 67.14
21 Punjab 240 315 241 1 74 76.51
22 Rajasthan 192 213 199 7 14 93.43
23 Sikkim 177 300 192 15 108 64.00
24 Tamil Nadu 224 243 229 5 14 94.24
25 Telangana 205 312 211 6 128 67.62
26 Tripura 177 302 192 15 110 63.58
27 Uttar Pradesh 175 192 182 7 10 94.79
28 Uttarakhand 175 260.5 182 7 78.5 69.87
29 West Bengal 191 245 191 0 54 77.96
30 Andaman and Nicobar 250 451 250 0 201 44.57
31 Chandigarh 273 376 NA NA NA NA
32 Dadra and Nagar Haveli 220 294 224 4 70 76.19
33 Daman and Diu 197 294 202 5 92 68.71
34 Lakshadweep 248 401 248 0 153 61.85
35 Puducherry 224 368 229 5 139 62.23

According to media reports, workers are already struggling with delay in payment of wages. In the last few years, they have taken to streets several times to demand an increase in wage rate. Jharkhand’s workers even returned the Rs 5 hike in 2016-17 and Re 1 hike the following year.

“This wage hike seems like the Centre is deliberately undermining the employment programme. There's no way the MNREGA wages should be less than minimum wages,” added Nandy.

Now, the workers are demanding that MNREGA wage rate be increased to Rs 600 a day.

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  • Thanks a lot, Raja Sahani

    Posted by: Raja Sahani | 2 months ago | Reply