Rural job plan monitor seeks real wages
Members of the Central Employment Guarantee Council, a powerful body monitoring the implementation of the NREGA, has sought “real wages” for workers under the UPA government’s flagship rural job scheme. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi reports.delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2009 01:44 IST
Members of the Central Employment Guarantee Council, a powerful body monitoring the implementation of the National Employment Rural Guarantee Act (NREGA), has sought “real wages” for workers under the UPA government’s flagship rural job scheme.
Real wages means wages based on existing consumer price index. Under NREGA, the government is committed to providing a real wage of Rs 100 a day. This is meant to hike the wages in states where they are stuck at lower levels.
“Price index will have to be reflected in wages and the real wage will increase with the price rise,” Planning Commission member Mihir Shah said after the meeting on Wednesday.
The members asked the government to ensure that there was “no deviation” from the basic structure of the scheme that provides 100 days of manual work in a financial year to every rural household.
They expressed concern over the lack of awareness and delayed payments and demanded punitive provisions for errant and corrupt officials. The issue of inadequate staff in banks and post offices for making payments was also discussed.
Responding to the demands, Rural Development Minister CP Joshi said his ministry was trying to work out alternatives to ensure more transparency in wage payments.