ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The wage rates for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers for 2019–20, notified on 30 March 2019, have again exposed the central government’s lack of commitment to MGNREGA workers’ rights. The hike ranges from a meagre `1 to a “majestic” `17 for various states and union territories. And, workers of six states and union territories will have to be content with no hike at all. Workers of poor states like Jhar­khand and Bihar, who did not get a hike last year, are lucky that they will get an increase of `3 and `2, respectively. The average increase in MGNREGA wage rates across the country is a measly 2.6%.

For 33 states and union territories, the MGNREGA wage rate is less than the corresponding minimum wage for agriculture, condemning workers to another year of bonded labour. The difference is the greatest in Goa, where the MGNREGA wage rate is only 62% of the state minimum wage for agriculture. This ratio is in the range of 60%–70% for a number of poor states such as Telangana and Odisha.

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Updated On : 5th Apr, 2019


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