In giving a boost to the unskilled manual workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the Central government has increased the per day wage rate from the current Rs. 132 to Rs. 148, effective from April 1.
Considered to be the flagship programme of the Central government, the notification issued in the Gazette of India dated February 26, 2013 lists the wage rate fixed for various States for 2013-14, i.e. Haryana — Rs. 214, Kerala — Rs. 180, Karnataka — Rs. 174, Andhra Pradesh — Rs. 149, Tamil Nadu — Rs. 148 and Puducherry — Rs. 148. The wage rate differs from State to State depending on the Consumer Price Index for Agricultural Labour (CPIAL).
The notification also said that implementation is effective subject to a case pending before the Supreme Court.
Currently, desilting of lakes and strengthening of bund works, rural connectivity and micro irrigation works were carried out across the State so as to provide a minimum of 100 days of employment for rural people.
The Ministry of Rural Development had also announced that play fields would be constructed under the scheme.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who recently declared all districts, except Chennai, as drought-hit areas, announced that working days under the scheme would be increased to 150 days and agricultural workers would be provided jobs under the scheme apart from creation of farm ponds.
In Salem district, 13,083 workers continue their jobs after competing 100 work days.
Currently, 2,48,027 workers, including 10,052 men, 2,37,428 women and 547 differently-abled persons, were involved in various works in 20 blocks in the district.
A total of 128.43 crore has so far been paid as wages in the current financial year 2012-13 with 2,425 works being carried out.
Assistant Collector (Development) Sandeep Nanduri told The Hindu that though notifications are issued by the Ministry, the department is yet to receive the guidelines and these would be implemented thereafter.
“The scheme is progressing well in the district,” he added.