Rajasthan govt ask center to increase MNREGA pay

The state government has started pushing the Centre to increase minimum wages for labourers working under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). The Rajasthan government has been pursuing the issue of increasing wages of MNREGA labourers to the existing minimum wage rate of labour in organised sector in the state. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot wrote a letter to prime minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday seeking a hike in the wage rates of MNREGA workers. Gehlot has already written to the minister for rural development and panchayati raj, CP Joshi, on the same issue. In his letter to the prime minister, Gehlot stressed on the need to bring wages of MNREGA labour on a par with minimum wage rates in the state. He said that the Centre should amend the Act to bring about parity in the wages for the two sectors in the state.
Gehlot argued in favour of the revision by quoting the recommendations of the Central Employment Guarantee Council. He said, "The council had recommended a revision of the wages for MNREGA labourers as per the provisions of the consumer price index." starting with `107 for unskilled labourers. The upper limit for minimum wages was set at `155 for skilled labourers. Earlier, the wages for unskilled labour and skilled labour in the state were `100 and `145, respectively. In his letter, Gehlot said that wages for unskilled labour is wholly funded by the Centre according to the provisions of the MNREGA, 2005. "The Centre should, therefore, amend the Act so that the minimum wages can be revised accordingly," he said.