Other States

TMC joins Opposition demand for expansion of MGNREGA

Derek O’Brien. File

Derek O’Brien. File  

Increase wages, ensure full 100 days’ work, says Derek O’ Brien.

Joining forces with the other Opposition parties, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday demanded an expansion of the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. The party also called for an increase in the wage rate, which, it said, is lower than the minimum wages of at least 31 States.

MGNREGA jobs crash to 1% of normal

TMC leader Derek O’ Brien, addressing an online press conference, accused the Narendra Modi government of doing everything in its capacity to “weaken and dismantle” the MGNREGA, with Mr. Modi himself ridiculing the scheme and calling it “a living monument of failure”.

 

“The Centre must act now; it is absolutely critical that all registered workers get 100 days of work Currently they get only 40-50 days. The current wages of ₹202 per day also needs revision as it is lower than minimum wage in 31 States,” the Rajya Sabha MP said. He added that the wages must be linked to the rural consumer price index.

Mr. O’ Brien said, in the current scenario with reverse migration to the villages, the MGNREGA has assumed a huge importance. “It is equally critical that all the dues are paid to the workers within 15 days,” he said.

Only 30 lakh found MGNREGA work in April

The TMC has also demanded that the unemployment allowance of 15 days that is guaranteed in the law should be further extended.

Mr. O’ Brien said that by January this year 95% of the allocation for 2019-20 was spent and the Ministry of Rural Development sought an additional ₹20,000 crore. But the Finance Ministry gave only ₹5,000 crore, he added.

He also questioned the the Centre’s claim that with the additional allocation of ₹40,000 crore under the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission, the annual income of the rural households will increase by ₹2000.

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“How did they arrive at this figure? By calculating that 100 days of work will be given? But on average, if you look at States, the work days are 45-50 days of employment generation. So this claim of ₹2,000 is not valid. There is grandstanding when common people are facing a serious situation,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 6:50:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tmc-joins-opposition-demand-for-expansion-of-mnrega/article31780232.ece

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