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MGNREGA wage rate to be hiked from April: Jairam Ramesh.

New Delhi, Feb 3 ( ANI ): Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has said that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) wage rate will be enhanced from April 1 this year due to inflation.

He said, notification in this regard will be placed before Parliament in the coming session scheduled to begin this week.

Speaking at the 9th MGNREGA Divas here yesterday, Ramesh said, MGNREGA wage rate has already been linked to Consumer Price Index and the yearly revision follows from it.

Referring to various suggestions received from the States, Ramesh said, there is need for parity in the MGNREGA wage rate and the Minimum Wage, where the former is lower and there are 14 such States like Bihar Jharkhand, West Bengal and Rajasthan where rural job wage is lower than minimum wage.

He said to implement this MGNREGA Act needs to be amended and an Expert Committee is looking into the matter.

The Minister also exhorted the officials to motivate and help the small and marginal farmers to undertake land leveling and irrigation schemes on their land under MGNREGA and lamented that only 10 percent farmers have so far benefitted from this provision.

He also called upon officials to bring MGNREGA workers under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana as only 15 to 20 percent such workers are at present covered under the scheme.

Ramesh said that 2014-15 should be celebrated as Convergence Year for MGNREGA.

Speaking on the occasion Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya said that MGNREGA has brought about a revolution in the rural India and stopped the distress migration from rural to urban areas.

He said in the world's biggest ever rural job scheme, this year more than 3crore 80 lakh families got benefitted so far. Jain said that fighting corruption in its implementation is a big challenge, but this is the responsibility of the State Governments. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Feb 3, 2014
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