Govt to retain minimum wages under NREGA
New Delhi, July 5: The Centre today decided to retain the minimum wage structure under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act at the president level.
The decision, which is a major victory for the rural development ministry, was arrived at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which was attended by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Monket Singh Ahluwalia.
''It has been decided that the existing arrangement will continue,'' Mr Mukherjee told mediapersons after the meeting.
He said that as the scheme has not been fully operational due to election in five states. The situation would be again reviewed after the scheme is fully operational in the entire country, he said.
Under the present provisions of the NREGA, states give the minimum wage prevailing in that state which varies from Rs 48 in some North Eastern states to over Rs 160 in Kerala. However, the Finance Minister wanted that the minimum wage under the NREGA should be fixed at Rs 60 in the entire country.
Mr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that the meeting decided to monitor the implementation of NREGA so that its provisions were not misused.
The Prime Minister complimented Mr Singh for his commitment in implementing the scheme for the benefit of the poor.