In what is being termed as one of the lowest pay hike, the workers working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) have been given a hike of mere 2.7 per cent this year. Few of the workers from states including Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have got a wage hike as low as Rs 1.
According to a report in Indian Express, for workers working the drought-hit Tamil Nadu and Odisha, the wage is not more than Rs 2 and Rs 3 in Andhra Pradesh. Several states had earlier demanded the central government to give a good wage hike for workers to be attracted towards the scheme.
Workers from Jharkhand and Haryana have a got the lowest wage hike as the wages of the workers have been raised from Rs 167 to Rs 168. Meanwhile, Haryana workers have got the highest wage hike. The Haryana workers who earlier received Rs 259 as wages will not get Rs 277.
The daily further reported that the finance ministry had dismissed the plea of an expert committee who sought for a fair revision of the wages of the workers in the MNREGA scheme. The Finance Ministry reportedly said that the revision of the wages was not feasible at this particular moment. “This ministry is of the considered opinion that the proposal for change in the base wage rate is not advisable at this stage,” the daily quoted Finance Ministry as saying.
Last year, the wage hike was only 5.5 per cent. The workers staged a protest against the meagre pay hike and some of the workers from the Manika block of Latehar collected the Rs 5 hike and returned to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.