Hike in rural scheme wages

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 8.01.11
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Shillong, Jan. 7: There is good news for Northeast wage earners under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).

The Union ministry of rural development has hiked the wages under NREGA with effect from January 1 this year.

An official statement said in the Northeast, the wage rate in Assam had been increased to Rs 130 per day from the present Rs 100.

In Arunachal Pradesh, it has been increased to Rs 118 from Rs 80. In Manipur, it has been increased to Rs 126 from Rs 81.40, in Meghalaya from Rs 117 from Rs 100 , in Mizoram Rs 129 from Rs 110, in Nagaland Rs 118 from Rs 100, in Tripura Rs 118 from Rs 100 and in Sikkim Rs 118 from Rs 100.

This will result in 17 to 30 per cent enhancement of wages under the premier flagship programme of the UPA government across the country.

The move is likely to benefit more than 5 crore beneficiaries under NREGA across the country.

The Centre hopes the hike in wages will address the requirements of the poor in the rural areas of the country.

With the hike in the wages, the Meghalaya government has decided to ensure transparency in the distribution of wages under NREGA.

Job-seekers had filed more than 10 FIRs on anomalies in distribution of wages in police stations across the state, especially in Garo hills, last year.

Ccommunity and rural development department officials, who are monitoring the scheme, said more social audits would be carried out to ensure transparency in the implementation of the central project.

Meghalaya has become the first state in the country to adopt a banking correspondence model to disburse wages of the workers.

On November 12 last year, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Meghalaya government and the State Bank of India to disburse wages though the banks and in places where there are no banks. Business correspondents will be appointed to help the beneficiaries get their wages in far-flung areas.

According to the banking correspondence model, the state government will directly deposit the wages of workers into their personal accounts.

The government was compelled to adopt the model following several complaints of misutilisation of the scheme in the process of distribution of wages in cash.