As per a notification issued by the Ministry of Rural Development under subsection (1) of Section 6 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, there will be a hike of Rs 4 to Rs 21 in the wages for various states and Union Territories (UT). The average hike in NREGA wage rate across India is a mere 4.25 per cent. Workers of Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura will receive no hike at all!
It has been observed that in 27 states and UTs, the NREGA wage rate is less than the corresponding minimum wage for agriculture. In Karnataka, where the increment in wage rate has been the highest, the NREGA wage rate is merely 70 per cent of the minimum wage for agriculture!
The NREGA Sangharsh Morcha (NSM) and People’s Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG) is not happy with the hike at all, as it is in no way proportional to the increase in inflation and cost of living. They point out how NREGA workers are at a disadvantage as compared to Central government employees and pensioners, who get their dearness allowance revised twice every year.
In Karnataka, the NREGA wage rate for FY 2022-23 is Rs 309 per day, which is an increase of Rs 20 over the wage rate of Rs 289 per day of FY 2021-2022. This is the highest hike of 6.92 per cent. Kerala also gave a similar hike of 6.92 per cent, from Rs 291 per day to Rs 311.
In Assam, the hike is of a mere 2.23 per cent, from Rs 224 to Rs 229 per day.