New payment structure for MNREGA to be revised after 5 yrs

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Vadodara, Jan 16 (PTI) Union Rural Development MinisterDr C P Joshi has said that the new structure for payment ofwages under MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural EmploymentGuarantee Act), will be revised after five years, and islinked to inflation.

Talking to PTI last night here, Joshi said, "It is a verybold decision of the union government to link it withinflation and Consumer Price Index (CPI), which will benefitfive crore people.

"The government''s decision followed after CongressPresident Sonia Gandhi wrote to the government seekingincreased wages," Joshi said.

Joshi, who is also the president of the Rajasthan CricketAssociation (RCA), was here to watch final day''s play of RanjiTrophy final between host Baroda and Rajasthan.

As per the revised structure, the wages under MNREGAhave gone up 17 to 30 per cent, Joshi said.

The government is ready to meet the additional expense ofRs 3,500 crore that would be incurred on account of the wagerevision between January and March, he said. New wages cameinto effect this month. .

The Rural Development Minister said the amount that a labourer would earn after the wage revision was much more thanwhat at least 20 states were paying as minimum wages.

Due to this revision, the minimum wage under theMNREGA in Gujarat has gone up to Rs 124 from Rs 100, Joshisaid.

The Congress President had written to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh, suggesting that wages of labourers be linkedto CPI to ensure that they were protected against inflation,he said.

Joshi said ever since UPA came to the power at thecentre, it has been taking steps for the welfare of the poorand launched various schemes including Rs 40,000 croreMNREGA, PMGY (Prime Minister Gramsadak Yojna) and others.

On price rise and soaring inflation, Joshi said thatUnion government was taking steps to control inflation, but"it is also the responsibility of the state governments to actagainst hoarders and black marketers." PTI COR KRKRBT

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