Wages for rural job scheme to be hiked: Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi, Feb 2: Wages for people working under the national rural employment scheme will be hiked from April 1, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said Sunday.

A notification in this regard will be placed before parliament in the coming session scheduled to begin Feb 5, Ramesh said at the Ninth Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Divas here.

The wage rate under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has already been linked to the Consumer Price Index and the yearly revision follows from it.

Referring to various suggestions received from the states, Ramesh said there was a need for parity in the MGNREGS wage rate and the minimum wage, where the former was lower.

The minister said there were 14 states, including Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Rajasthan, where rural job wage was lower than the minimum.

To implement this, the MGNREGA Act needs to be amended and an expert committee is looking into the matter, he said.

Ramesh also asked officials to motivate and help small and marginal farmers to undertake land levelling and irrigation schemes on their land under MGNREGS.

The minister gave away 47 awards on the occasion for best initiatives and innovations in the job scheme.

IANS