REVISED WAGES OF MGNREGS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     28th March 2024        

Context: The Union government recently notified the revised wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), resulting in several States reporting a hike in wages by 8 to 10%.

Revised Wages

  • Wage Hikes: Uttar Pradesh witnessed a modest increase from ₹230 in 2023 to ₹237 in 2024, whereas Goa experienced a substantial hike of ₹34 from ₹322 to ₹356 during the same period.
  • Significant Wage Jumps in Select States: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Goa reported noteworthy wage hikes ranging from 8% to 10.5%.
  • Close Pursuit: Bihar closely follows with a revision of ₹17 in wages.
  • Haryana Leads in Wages: Haryana maintains its position offering the highest daily wages at ₹374, while Uttar Pradesh lags with one of the lowest rates at ₹237.
  • Discrepancy in Employment Guarantee: Despite the government's promise of 100 days of guaranteed work, the national average days of employment provided per household in the financial year 2023-24 stood at only 51 days.
  • Hike depend on: The MGNREGA wage rates are fixed according to changes in the CPI-AL (Consumer Price Index-Agriculture Labour), which reflects the increase in the inflation in rural areas.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)

  • About: MGNREGS is a demand-driven scheme, that seeks to provide guaranteed 100 days of wage employment per year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
  • Features: Legal right to work, a time-bound guarantee of work and unemployment allowance (within 15 days), Decentralised planning – i.e. Gram Sabha recommends work, demand-driven scheme.
  • MGNREGA Act, 2005: It specifies a list of works that can be undertaken to generate employment such as water conservation, land development, construction, agriculture.
  • Role of MGNREGA in addressing rural distress: Jobs to unskilled/semi-skilled, Reduction in poverty levels, Women labour force participation, Benefits to agri-sector, Rural Development, Creation of rural assets, Reviving MSME sector.

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