Vadodara: Union Rural Development Minister C P Joshi has said that the new structure for payment of wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), which was now linked to inflation, would be revised after five years.
“It is a very bold decision of the Union government to link it with inflation and Consumer Price Index (CPI), and it will benefit five crore people.
“The decision followed after Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to the government seeking increased wages,” Joshi told PTI.
As per the revised structure, the wages under MNREGA have gone up 17 to 30%, Joshi said.
The government is ready to meet the additional expense of Rs3,500 crore that would be incurred on account of the wage revision between January and March, he said. New wages came into effect this month.
Joshi, who is also the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), was here to watch the final day’s play of Ranji Trophy final between host Baroda and Rajasthan.
The Rural Development Minister said the amount that a labourer would earn after the wage revision was much more than what at least 20 states were paying as minimum wages.
Due to this revision, the minimum wage under the MNREGA in Gujarat has gone up to Rs124 from Rs100, Joshi said.
The Congress President had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, suggesting that wages of labourers be linked to CPI to ensure that they were protected against inflation, he said.
Joshi said ever since UPA came to the power at the centre, it has been taking steps for the welfare of the poor and launched various schemes including Rs40,000 crore MNREGA, PMGY (Prime Minister Gramsadak Yojna) and others.
On price rise and soaring inflation, Joshi said that Union government was taking steps to control inflation, but “it is also the responsibility of the state governments to act against hoarders and black marketers.”