The daily wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) have been revised to ₹289 in Karnataka.
Disclosing this to reporters after a review meeting, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) K.S. Eshwarappa said the daily wages for MGNREGA workers, which had been revised from ₹245 to ₹275 in Karnataka, will be ₹289 with effect from April 1, 2021.
The workers will be paid an additional ₹10 per day for equipment, he said.
The State had exceeded its MGNREGA target of 13 crore man-days by reaching almost 15 crore man-days (14.84 crore man-days) during 2020-21, Mr. Eshwarappa said, while attributing the rise to efforts made by the department to provide employment to people, who had returned to their villages due to COVID-19.
A total of ₹3,997.43 crore had been credited directly into the accounts of the workers during the year, he said. In view of the revision of the number of man-days, the State is expecting an additional ₹800 crore, he said.
During 2020-21, a total of 56.83 lakh people of 30.19 lakh families had provided employment under the scheme, which is the highest in the last five years. Out of them as many as 2.4 lakh families had received work for 100 days in the year.
‘Catch the Rain’
Mr. Eshwarappa said the government expected more people to given employment under the scheme this year with the launch of the Centre’s ‘Catch the Rain’ scheme in Karnataka, which is scheduled for a State-wide launch on April 9.
A variety of water conservation projects including lake restoration and conservation works will be taken up under the scheme ‘Jala Shakti’, which is scheduled to end in November this year.
Removal of silt, identifying the canals that recharge the water bodies and restoring them will be part of the works to be taken under MGNREGA for the scheme, he said.
“The scheme will not only provide employment, but also recharge groundwater,” he said. The government is also committed to providing ‘fluoride-free’ drinking water to the people, he said.
Also, Mr. Eshwarappa said the department will equip all gram panchayat offices, situated in their own building, with solar power generation system. Once installed, the Minister said the officials will not be able to send away visitors to the office on the pretext of absence of power.
After generation of power, the excess will be sold to the grid. “The GPs will not only save on power bills, but also earn money,” he said.
Besides, Mr. Eshwarappa said the department will spend upto ₹5 lakh under MGNREGA scheme on construction of buildings for schools and anganwadis. This, he said, was in addition to the ₹5 lakh that is spent by the Department of Women and Child Welfare. Toilets, drinking water, construction of playground and compounds will also be taken up under the scheme, he said.