The Ministry of Rural Development has sought the poll panel's approval to revise the wages paid under the MGNREGA from April 1, a move that could benefit more than several crore beneficiaries across the country.
The wages paid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) are linked with the Consumer Price Index for agricultural labourers (CPI-AL) and new wage rates are notified on April 1, the beginning of the new financial year, sources in the ministry said.
The officials said it is a routine exercise and the ministry has approached the Election Commission before notifying the new rates since the election code of conduct is in place.
Different states have different wage rates so the increase in wages will also be different. The wages may remain flat in some states, while the increase could be up to 5 per cent over and above the current wage in others, they added.
The government in this year's Interim Budget had proposed to allocate Rs 60,000 crore for rural employment scheme under the MGNREGA for the year 2019-20.
The amount allocated for 2019-20 is 11 per cent higher compared to Rs 55,000 crore for 2018-19.
The revised estimate of the scheme for the year 2018-19 was Rs 61,084.09 crore.
MGNREGA, a rural job guarantee scheme introduced in 2005, now covers all the rural districts of the country.
The main objective of the scheme involves providing up to 100 days of unskilled manual work in a financial year to every household in rural areas as per demand, resulting in creation of productive assets.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine