Wages under MNREGA shouldn’t be less than minimum wage in states: Mahendra Dev Committee

As per the recommendations of a high-level committee set up by the Centre, wages under MNREGA should be equal to or higher than the minimum wage in the state.

According to the report submitted by the seven-member panel, headed by S Mahendra Dev, director of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research:

The baseline for MNREGA wage indexation from 2014 may be the current minimum wage rate for unskilled agricultural labourers fixed by the states under the Minimum Wages Act or the ‘current MGNREGA wage rate’, whichever is higher.

MGNREGA wage rates must be revised every year on the basis of Consumer Price Index for Rural (CPI-Rural) as the appropriate index.

At present, wages under MNREGA are linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the annual revision is based on the CPI-AL (Agriculture Labour).

The panel was set up to examine whether the Consumer Price Index for Agriculture Labour (CPIAL) is the suitable index for protecting the wages against inflation and what would be the appropriate index for revising MGNREGA wage rates every year.

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